24 Sept 2022

Calls for HSE to state when day care service for older people in Dundalk is to reopen.

Calls for HSE to state when  day care service for older people in Dundalk is to reopen.

St Anne’s service operates out of St Oliver's Community Hospital

A Dundalk TD has asked the HSE to clearly state when a day care service for older people in the town is to reopen.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú has written to the HSE to ask them when the St Anne’s service, which operates out of St Oliver’s Community Hospital on the Dublin Road in Dundalk will reopen.

The day care service was closed because of Covid 19 restrictions in 2020, but has not yet re-opened.

In correspondence earlier this year, the HSE advised Deputy Ó Murchú that they were looking to reopen it this month, but this has not happened.

The Dundalk TD says that he has been advised by charities that work with older people in Louth that they understand the day care service will not be opened for the foreseeable future.

This is, Deputy Ó Murchú said, 'a dreadful situation’ for older people and their families who need day care services as soon as possible.

He said: "Late last week, I wrote to the HSE again seeking an update on when the St Anne’s service will be open again. I had been advised by charities working in the town that they understand that the HSE will not be reopening the service for the foreseeable future.

"Earlier this year, the HSE advised me they were aiming to open the service by August, but we are a week into the month and there have been no updates.

"Staffing may well be an issue, but the HSE has to do everything in its power to ensure that this service, which has been closed for more than two years, is reopened.

"It provided a social and recreational outlet for older people and respite for their carers and families. It is critical that everything is done to get it reopened.

"Older people were disproportionately affected by Covid 19, both physically from the virus and socially because of the isolation and loneliness brought on by the lockdowns and the closure of services.

"They should not be an afterthought for the HSE – they should be at the forefront of health officials’ minds’.

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