Good News from Primary Care, HSE West

 Units 5 and 6 in Merlin Park to function as a ‘Community Nursing Home’

Press Release-30th September 2014

Cllr Connolly, member of the Regional Health Forum very much welcomes the confirmation that Units 5 and 6 Merlin Park with 52 beds are to function as a Community Nursing Home.

Councillor Connolly said she very much welcomes the confirmation from the HSE West that Units 5 and 6 in Merlin Park are to function as a Community Nursing Home.

Over the years as a Councillor on the Regional Health Forum West Meetings, she has repeatedly raised the issue of empty beds in these Units while there are people on the waiting list for nursing home beds.

More specifically at the last Health Forum Meeting,  she  tabled a specific question in relation to both the current status of and the long terms plan for these Units.

In this regard the written reply confirmed that currently there are a total of 52 beds in Units 5 and  6  with only 40 occupied however due to lack of staff.

The breakdown of  the 40 beds  occupied are 26 long stay, 2 short stay and 12 respite beds.

That 12 beds currently remain unoccupied while  people  are waiting either at home alone and are with the help of their families and/or waiting in an acute bed in the Regional Hospital beggars belief said Cllr Connolly.

However now after a long battle and the closure of the wonderful St Francis Community Nursing Home, Cllr Connolly was informed that the Units are currently being assessed for Compliance with HIQA standards and it is the intention to have all 52 beds occupied by the end of 2014 with an increase of long term beds to 34, short term to 6 and the number of respite beds to remain the same at 12.

Furthermore, interviews are currently underway for more nurses to enable the 52 beds to open by the year’s end.

Cllr Connolly said this is very good news but that she will be monitoring the situation very closely to ensure it happens given previous promises that were not met.

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