St Christopher’s review to be completed by March

CEO of St Christopher's Services, Pat O'Toole.
HSE officials are expected to complete a review of St Christopher’s Services before the end of March.

HSE officials are expected to complete a review of St Christopher’s Services before the end of March.

The long awaited audit, first mooted last November, had been sanctioned in a bid to address ongoing financial difficulties at the Longford service provider.

That saw around 3,000 protestors take to the streets of the county town to air their grievances over an estimated €450,000 funding shortage last year.

Special meetings at local authority level followed while a delegation of local councillors and parents met Health Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin.

And while those efforts appeared to stall momentarily, HSE bosses subsequently intervened by approving a full scale review of services at St Christopher’s and St Hilda’s in Athlone.

Fine Gael TD Gabrielle MacFadden this week claimed the review would be finalised by the middle of March.

“The review, involving the preparation of a full report, will look at ways to develop sustainable services while also considering the current availability of resources,” she said.

“I am also pleased that the HSE committed to stabilising the current financial position at St Christopher’s during the review period in order to protect current levels of service provision.”

It’s anticipated further details as to the review’s finer workings will be made known at a meeting of the HSE and St Christopher’s management later this month.

Chief executive and local councillor, Pat O’Toole said he was confident the Longford facility had provided all necessary docmentation in order to allow auditors carry out their inspection over the coming weeks.