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Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit to close

The HSE said the decision was taken as a safe service could not be guaranteed in the face of budget cuts.

THE ABBEYLEIX COMMUNITY Nursing Unit is to shut down because the HSE cannot ensure a safe service will be delivered to its residents.

The HSE confirmed this evening that the unit will close on a phased basis and consultations have started with the residents and their families.

The decision to close was taken on the basis that the capacity to deliver a safe service is not possible in view of the reduced HSE budget, lower staff numbers and the difficulty in meeting the health services watchdog’s standards in the future.

The HSE said there was a particular difficulty in meeting HIQA’s standard in relation to the residents’ physical environment.

The unit’s 28 current long-term residents will be transferred to alternative accommodation in the surrounding area.

A complete implementation plan for the transfer of patients will consider the needs of the service user and the proximity of the identified nursing unit to the relatives,” said the HSE in a statement.

“It should be stressed that no service users will be placed in a more costly financial position in terms of their care.”

The day care services will continue to cater for the needs of its 90 clients. Respite service will also remain available for the current eight clients but it is intended that it will transfer to a private provider following consultation with the families concerned.

Staff at the unit will be redeployed to other services in the area.

HIQA has carried out two inspections at the unit over the past two years.

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