A Donegal councillor has said HSE arrangements to offer temporary hospital Day Services for people in Lifford in centres in Castlefin, Ballybofey, Letterkenny and Killygordon is like a bingo tour.
Cllr Gerry Crawford highlighted his frustrations at ongoing delays for the return of Day Services in Lifford when he raised the matter again at this week’s meeting of the Regional Health Forum West.
He had previously been informed that Day Services would resume in Lifford in the first quarter of this year. However at Tuesday’s meeting in Galway, Cllr Crawford was told that the HSE is awaiting a technical report on the existing Lifford facility, and when it is received they anticipate that services will resume in the second half of this year.
In a response to a question submitted, Cllr Crawford was told: “In the interim period, clients can avail of Day Care in Letterkenny and Newtoncunningham, Castlefin Social Club, Cake Club Killygordon and Twin Towns Friday Club.”
But Cllr Crawford said he was confused by the answer.
“Does the HSE put on buses?” he asked.
“Is there somebody arranging this because this is like a bingo tour and it doesn’t meet the standard that existed.”
Cllr Crawford said when he raised the matter previously, the answer he got in December was that having examined the matter, the Habinteg Centre in Lifford had been identified as a potential alternative location to provide community day hospital services.
“The services used to be located in the Community Hospital but it disappeared with the hospital, notwithstanding the fact that there was Covid as well,” Cllr Crawford said.
“It was really a big loss to the people of the area who used that facility.
“People used to come into that Day Service and they had their medications checked, there was a nurse available, a doctor if they needed a doctor, and there was a lot of social contact as well.
“But there was a medical aspect to it as well and I know we have to refer back to Covid, but we are moving on.”
And referring to the offer of temporary facilities in the surrounding areas, he said: “I don’t think any of the services I mentioned are provided in those places.”