Elderly residents left without bus service

Bus Service withdrawn from day care residents at St Francis Community Nursing Home in Newcastle.

Press Release 2nd September 2014-09-02

Councillor Connolly said she was both shocked and angry to learn that the bus service bringing people to and from day care in St Francis Home had been withdrawn.

She said quite a number of elderly people attending the day centre in St Francis Home rely on the bus taking them there and home and would be lost without the service. The day care runs five days a week and many attend the service more than one day a week where they have an opportunity to meet other people, participate in activities and also get a dinner.

However the bus that was in use is now out of action for over two weeks but even more worrying said Cllr Connolly, those attending the Day Centre were informed by the HSE West that the bus would not be replaced and that they would have to make their own way to the Day Centre from now on.

Councillor Connolly said the decision not to replace what is in effect an essential bus service is not acceptable and makes a mockery out of the HSE West’s commitment to the provision of services for the elderly to enable them live as independently as possible in their own homes. Moreover the failure to provide a bus service to allow people attend the day centre and access the essential services provided there would have serious implications for the mental and physical health of the elderly residents not attending and would cost the HSE West more money in the long term.

Councillor Connolly said when she raised this matter with the Manager of Primary Care she was informed in writing that the HSE West is currently seeking an alternative Bus but that it will take a few weeks.

Councillor Connolly said while the written response was somewhat reassuring, it is a serious matter of concern that those attending the Day Centre were led to believe that the bus would not be replaced and further that a replacement bus is taking such a period of time.

Councillor Connolly she will be closely monitoring the matter and also raising it formally at the next Health Forum Meeting on the 23rd September.

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