New respite unit to replace Sruthan House to open in Dundalk
The HSE has confirmed that an alternative to respite care centre, Sruthan House, which has been closed since March 2020, is to open in Dundalk by the end of April.
Independent Councillor Maeve Yore, a member of the HSE Louth Disability Forum, shared the news with the Dundalk Democrat last week, that a new respite house is due to be opened by the end of April in Dundalk, that will provide four bed/seven night/48 week respite, to a greater group of people availing of respite including those with complex needs.
Cllr Yore attended a meeting last Monday with HSE management and Minister of State at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Anne Rabbitte, where she highlighted with Minister Rabbitte, the lack of communication and information from the HSE to those availing of respite, the staff of Struthan House, the residents of Ashbrook and the Louth HSE Disability Forum Members.
She asked the HSE Management who attended the meeting whether the staff from Struthan House will be offered the opportunity to redeploy to the new respite facility and the reply received was if staff were willing, had a preference all options would be explored.
The Independent Councillor queried whether a busy housing estate was suitable for the person who now resides in Struthan and urged the Minister and the HSE to provide every possible suitable support and service to help them on their path to recovery. Cllr Yore requested that Minister Rabbitte meet with respite users as her predecessor Finian McGrath had, which the Minister agreed to, stating she hopes to be back in Louth for the opening.
After the meeting Cllr Yore introduced the Minister to Struthan staff members and John Morgan, an advocate for people with disabilities, who also sought clarification from the Minister in relation to their employment options. Mr Morgan highlighted to the Minister that staff and those who avail of respite, are like family and want to continue building on that excellent relationship.
The news of the new respite care service in Dundalk was welcomed by Senator Erin McGreehan. Commenting following the visit to Dundalk of Minister Rabbitte, Senator McGreehan said, “I have been working with Minister Rabbitte in relation to Sruthan House. It has not been in use as a respite centre and has been causing huge disruption for people who use it. Sruthan was deemed unsuitable for use during covid due to its size and lack of social distancing capabilities.
“Midlands Louth Meath CHO Louth Disability Service is in discussions with a provider to develop plans for alternative accommodation - it is anticipated the service will be delivered by the end of quarter one 2022. Service users will be contacted with all the details at the end of the week and in about three weeks' time, the families will receive an invitation to visit the new service to see it before they use it. The new service will accommodate more people and a more diverse population.”
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