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St John of God services to be transferred to HSE unless extra funding is granted

The SJOG board is due to meet today to discuss its €32.5 million deficit.

THE SERVICES PROVIDED by St John of God Community Services (SJOG) are likely to be transferred to the HSE due to funding issues.

The SJOG board is due to meet today to discuss the future of the services as the organisation faces a €32.5 million deficit.

Staff at SJOG have been informed that, unless extra funding is received by the HSE to cover the deficit, the process of transferring services will begin.

SJOG is one of the biggest providers of intellectual disability and mental health services in the country, working with around 8,000 children, adolescents and adults.

It employs some 3,000 people in 300 locations across Dublin, Kildare, Kerry, Wicklow, Meath, Monaghan and Louth.

Directors of the board met with HSE officials on 24 January and outlined their concerns about the organisation’s financial situation.

In a letter sent to staff and seen by The Journal, the board said “some progress” was made at this meeting but there was “a considerable distance to travel if a positive outcome is to be achieved”.

The HSE requested a further two weeks to consider the matter and the board agreed to this at a separate meeting on 25 January.

This two-week period is now up and the board is due to meet again today.

Unless there is a last-minute intervention by the HSE, the board is expected to recommend that services be transferred.

The letter to staff noted that if the issues were not resolved by today, the board would likely “immediately commence discussions with the HSE to make arrangements for the transfer of responsibility for the provision of services to the HSE”.

The board told employees they were “doing all in our power to prevent this eventuality” but were running out of options.

Ensuring continuity of service

When asked if additional funding would be granted to SJOG, a spokesperson for the HSE told The Journal the executive has “continued to provide the necessary resources to ensure continuity of service”.

“It is our priority to ensure these vital supports and services will continue to be provided without disruption,” they added.

SJOG previously planned to transfer its services to the HSE in October 2020, as it faced a similar funding crisis. However, these plans were paused in August 2021 following negotiations with the HSE. 

The results of a sustainability and impact assessment into the charity were published in October 2023, but the report has not been made publicly available.

In a statement issued last month, the HSE said discussions with SJOG were “at an advanced stage”, where the final step would be delivering the commitments in the sustainability and impact report.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can reach out for support through the following helplines. These organisations also put people in touch with long-term supports:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Text About It - text HELLO to 50808 (mental health issues)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)