Wolfe report on cash crisis at St Christopher’s held up

St Christopher's Services CEO Pat O'Toole and Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Mark Casey chant 'Save Our Services' during the recent protest rally in Longford town.
The publication of a much sought after independent review of frontline services at St Christopher’s will not be finalised until next Monday (November 17) at the earliest.

The publication of a much sought after independent review of frontline services at St Christopher’s will not be finalised until next Monday (November 17) at the earliest.

Consultancy expert Joe Wolfe had been scheduled to deliver an extensive report on two residential centres belonging to the Longford provider earlier this week.

The contents from that report had been expected to shape debate at both St Christopher’s annual AGM last night (Tuesday) and a county council meeting today (Wednesday) as doubts over the service’s financial future intensify.

However, in an email delivered to his fellow 17 county council representatives this week, CEO Pat O’Toole revealed those plans had taken an added twist.

“Joe spent a half day in each centre on the 31st (of October),” said Cllr O’Toole in reference to the service’s Marley House and Marion Avenue residences in Longford and Ballymahon.

“Following that he decided to look at 2012 as well as 2013 and up to September 30 of this year which I can understand.”

The Ballymahon area representative said the delay was not a setback, despite the fact banks had recently given management until the end of the year to lodge €250,000 in its accounts.

Cllr O’Toole said what he didn’t want was for last night’s AGM and council meeting today to pre-empt the publication of the Wolfe Report.

And he added, further cost evaluations of the service as a whole, were also in the offing.

“We are looking at maybe doing a review in the early new year of not just the two centres, but other services,” he said.

Cllr O’Toole said he hoped to hold further talks with the HSE this week and following the release of the Wolfe Report next week.