Promise of extra beds must include St Joseph’s, says Nolan

Promise of extra beds must include St Joseph’s, says Nolan
Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s pledge to open 200 additional community beds to deal with hospital overcrowding has once more thrown the spotlight on St Joseph’s Care Centre.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s pledge to open 200 additional community beds to deal with hospital overcrowding has once more thrown the spotlight on St Joseph’s Care Centre.

Not for the first time, Fine Gael Cllr Peggy Nolan has called on her more senior party colleague to include the Dublin Road facility as part of any nationwide plan.

And with overcrowding problems showing little signs of going away, Cllr Nolan insisted St Joseph’s remained ideally placed to combat that problem.

“I believe we (St Joseph’s Care Centre) meet the criteria for space,” she said.

“With all the facilities on that campus, we are ideally placed for a speedy roll-out for a minimum of 10 if not 20 bed to be opened.”

The long-serving local representative said she was confident of pressing home those sentiments in a face-to-face meeting with Mr Varadkar in due course.

She also praised the efforts of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) after their members held a lunchtime picket outside Mullingar’s Midland Regional Hospital last week.

“This is not something I have seen with the overcrowding we have been having.

“It is something I identified 12 years ago when the stepdown facility was first mentioned,” she said.

Should her pleas come to fruition, Cllr Nolan was keen to stress the importance of keeping present services and any new additions at St Joseph’s separate.

“This has nothing to do with St Joseph’s Care Centre,” she maintained.

“This is about establishing a new facility to give services to the people of the county and beyond.

“As well as that it would, I have no doubt, have a huge knock on effect to the economic life of the county.”