Smyth condemns move to remove respite services at Lisdarn

TOPICAL ISSUE ANOMALY SCAN 1– No service left in Cavan town –
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has condemned a decision by the HSE to remove respite services from the Lisdarn Unit for the Elderly in Cavan town.  The move has left Cavan town and the west of the county without any access to respite care.

Deputy Smyth explained, “The HSE has been moving towards the removal of respite services at Lisdarn for some time, but the manner in which they have announced it is appalling.  I received confirmation through a Parliamentary Question, but I know of families who have loved ones booked in for respite that have not been informed.  This is a deplorable scenario.

“I am dealing with a case of an 82 year old woman whose family had booked her into respite in Lisdarn as far back as last November.  They received confirmation from Lisdarn, yet when she arrived for her respite care earlier this month was turned away and told to go to Sheelin Nursing Home as respite was no longer being offered at Lisdarn.  At no point between November and June were the family ever informed of the changes.  This is an appalling way to treat people.

“I raised concerns about the future of respite services at the unit more than 18 months ago, when it closed a dozen respite beds and began focussing on step-down care.  While step-down beds are an important part of community health care, they should not come at a cost to respite beds.

“So called “transitional care beds” are once again being cited for the removal of respite beds, which I believe is a grave mistake.  The closure of these beds will be a massive blow for families living in north and west Cavan, who are now expected to take up respite in Virginia.  This is hugely upsetting for people who may want to visit their loved one and who will now have to travel huge distances to do so.

“I am calling on the HSE and the Minister for Health to urgently address this situation.  Families should not be put through the ordeal of arranging respite care only to turn up and be told it’s no longer available.  There is a serious shortage of respite beds in Cavan as it is, and this latest closure will only exacerbate an extremely sensitive situation”.

See my Parliamentary Question here:Lisdarn Unit for the Elderly