Save St Brigid’s group call on Minister to reverse closure decision based on disappointing report

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The Save St Brigid’s action group in Carrick-on-Suir has received the report on the hospital, and are again calling on the Minister to reverse the decision to close the facility.

The group were waiting almost a year for this report, which was only forthcoming after they delivered an 11,000 strong petition to the Dáil last week.

The report is from the 16th of November last year, but was only furnished to the group after their visit to Leinster House.

Speaking on Tipp Today, Séamus Healy said that the report is merely 3 pages with only three paragraphs talking about the hospital as it is.

The rest lays out the plans for St Brigid’s to be used as a base for the Chronic Disease Management Team.

Séamus said that Covid was used as an opportunity to close the hospital, but he is now calling on the Minister to re-examine the report and reverse the decision.

“It’s a threadbare report, it doesn’t mention anything about not being fit for purpose, it doesn’t use the word safety and of course it couldn’t use those terms, because there’s already an independent report, which passes the hospital and approves the hospital for the provision of in patient services at the hospital and that’s the HIQA report.

“There’s a fire report, which passes the hospital as being safe, so these issues couldn’t have been included in the report, because they are patently unsubstantiated.”

Councillor David Dunne added that they will continue their protests and to fight for the retention of services at St Brigid’s and he told Tipp Today that back up reports need to be provided.

“This is more of a briefing document, than an actual document, there’s nothing to back it off.

“It’s threadbare to say the least and I think the Minister, I would agree with Seamus, if she hasn’t been set up, she’s been landed in it on this one, because if she had read that report, she would find it hard to stand over it because there’s nothing in it.

“We know and the people know that, the 11,000 people who signed the petition know, how safe it is.”

The report stated that “it is no longer feasible or sustainable to continue to operate St Brigid’s as a District Hospital from an infection, prevention and control perspective, given the layout of the premises, the narrow hallways and the inadequate space and facilities available in the two five bedded wards.”

The Save St Brigid’s group will continue to raise this issue at national level, in the hopes of reversing the closure decision and continuing to offer palliative and respite care services in Carrick-on-Suir.