Cahill vows to hold Government to promises about respite beds in Carrick

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Tipperary Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill says he will be ensuring that the Government lives up to a promise that palliative and respite care beds will be provided in the Carrick on Suir area.

It comes following the decision by the HSE to repurpose St Brigid’s Hospital to a new Community Healthcare Centre for chronic disease management specialising in diabetes supports.

Deputy Cahill has raised the issue with Minister Mary Butler who has given him assurances that there will be beds available locally.

“The point is being made that HIQA has said that St Brigid’s isn’t capable of being brought up to modern standards. There was two 5-bed wards in St Brigid’s – one of those hadn’t event got shower facilities.”

“So there is a change of profile for St Brigid’s – its going to be used for chronic disease management going forward. I’m glad to see the investment in the hospital but I’m going to ensure that Minister Butler delivers on her commitment to me that the HSE will provide palliative care and respite beds in Carrick on Suir.”

Meanwhile a Carrick-on-Suir community activist says there’s “dismay” and “anger” in the town over the news.

Eddie Reade, one of the lead organisers of protests in recent months, says it’ll make life very difficult for residents seeking cancer care in the town.

“It means travelling to Clogheen for respite which is out of the question for a lot of people. We have no bus service in the town to speak of – that’s gone for a couple of years.”

“And now our respite and hospice is gone – we’ve got people taking their loved one out of hospitals far from the town to leave them die in their own home with peace and dignity because they want to be near them. A facility that was there to allow them to do that was the hospital.”