18 May 2022

Fresh pleas for St Joseph's neuro rehab unit

Fresh pleas for St Joseph's neuro rehab unit

St Joseph's Care Centre

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is coming under renewed pressure to sanction the approval of a neurological rehabilitation unit for St Joseph's Care Centre.

The Fianna Fáil minister is facing fresh calls to deliver a state of the art brain injury unit as part of the Dublin Road facility's multi-million euro overhaul.

Upwards of €12m has been set aside for the centre's much vaunted refurbishment including a 43 bedroom unit on the west side of the campus.

Longford Fianna Fáil TD Joe Flaherty said he was pleased to learn last week of how over €2m was being ringfenced under the overall €12m capital works, but insisted more was needed.

“This is part of the phased re-development of the facility and follows approval last year for a 43-bed residential unit facility on the campus.

“I have made the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly aware of the need to ensure that the future plans provide for a second bed and ancillary accommodation for Longford Hospice Services.”

Mr Flaherty's comments come almost four years 0n from then Health Minister Simon Harris' multi-million euro announcement in 2017.

The Lanesboro native said he was equally keen to ensure health chiefs deliver an on site hospice bed alongside various ancillary services as part of the refurbishment works.

“It is four years since Longford was first suggested as a location for a Neuro Rehab Unit for people with brain injuries,” said Mr Flaherty.

“Longford was identified as a high priority as St Joseph’s has plenty of experience in dealing with patients with these injuries.

“It is important that both issues are addressed in the plans.”

They were soundings which were given further weight by newly elected chairperson of the HSE's Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum Cllr PJ Reilly.

“This is something which would be of huge benefit to St Joseph's, Co Longford and the midlands area,” said Cllr Reilly.

The Abbeylara based local politician succeeded outgoing chairperson Cllr Paraic Brady two weeks ago in what will be his second stint as Health Forum chief following on from a previous spell in 2016-17.

Cllr Reilly vowed to bring the issue to the top table of the HSE's mid Leinster Forum over the coming weeks.

“This was referred to in 2017 and I certainly will be bringing it up with the HSE concerning the plans and ongoing redevelopment of St Joseph's,” he added.

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