Donegal is set to lose its only Nursing Home Support Office at St Joseph’s Hospital in Stranorlar under new Government plans.
Operations at the local ‘Fair Deal’ offices will be transferred to Tullamore, Co. Offaly, as the government plans to centralise the scheme to 5 offices. There will be no support offices located any further north than Dublin and Offaly under these changes.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle said that the removal of this service is another blow to St Joseph’s Hospital and is a poor indictment of the government’s rural development policy.
Nursing Homes Support Office processes applications as gives assistance to those who are applying for financial support for people who need long term residential care services.
Deputy Gallagher today called on the Taoiseach to intervene and support the case for Donegal’s office to be retained.
Deputy Gallagher said: “The Government and the HSE are currently rationalising the current 17 Nursing Home Support offices nationwide into 5 centralised offices based in Limerick, Naas, Tullamore, Ballymun Dublin and Cork city, what is shocking about this Government rationalising programme is that no support office will be located any further north than the line from Tullamore to Ballymun.
He also stated: “The current proposals being considered by the HSE leave the West and Northwest of Ireland again without direct access to services, it is further damaging in the context of BREXIT as it will result in the removal of services and it also forfeits an opportunity to create further employment should the office in Stranorlar be given additional extra responsibility to cover other areas of the country.
Pat the Cope called on the Taoiseach to personally intervene and add an additional Nursing Home Support Office – Fair Deal so that the area of the country north of Tullamore to Ballymun will not be deprived of local access to the fair deal services.
“The current office in Stranorlar both has the skills set and expertise to roll out similar services to surrounding counties but what is required is the support of the Government and the Department of Health in order that Donegal retain the current and existing services at St Joseph’s Home Support Office,” he said.