Rosalie Unit

  • It's expected an announcement will be made today on the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    The unit accommodates mostly elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, and there have been fears for some time that the HSE may close the facility, as there have been no new admissions since September 2016.

    A senior HSE official said last year that the Rosalie unit would close and alternative care would be provided for the patients, but a strong campaign has been underway in Castlerea to keep the unit open, for the current residents and to provide care into the future.

    Independent assessments have been carried out recently on the residents, and Midwest News understands that senior management are visiting the unit this morning to announce its future.

  • An emergency meeting of Roscommon county Council took place this morning to discuss what’s termed the “imminent” and “brutal” closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    There has been widespread local anger over the confirmation from the HSE earlier this month, that the Rosalie Unit would cease to function as a community psychiatric unit.

    Alternative care arrangements, according to the HSE, are being put in place for each of the present residents of the facility.

    Up to 70 protesters gathered at the gates of the Rosalie Unit on Thursday last to condemn the HSE’s decision.

    The Cathaoirleach of Roscommon Municipal District, Independent councillor Nigel Dinneen called for today’s emergency session – calling on the HSE to reverse its decision to close the Rosalie Unit as a community psychiatric unit.

    He told Midwest News this afternoon that councillors have agreed to write again to Ministers Harris and Daly , asking them to instruct the HSE to reverse the unit’s closure.

     In addition they have written to the Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin calling on him to have the decision reversed or withdraw from the Confidence and Supply Agreement his party has with the government.

    It’s expected that a Private Motion debate in the Dail proposed by Fianna Fail’s Eugene Murphy on the Rosalie Unit and its future will take place next week.

  • A decision now needs to be made as to how exactly the HSE run Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to develop, according to Minister for Communications, local deputy Denis Naughten. 

    At a meeting yesterday in the unit with the Minister for the Elderly Jim Daly and attended by local public representatives and HSE representatives, seven different options were presented as to how the unit might progress. 

    At present the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is a residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and Minister Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

     

  • Deliver on your promises to the people of Roscommon and keep the Rosalie Unit open in Castlerea. That’s the simple message that a delegation from Castlerea will deliver to Ministers Simon Harris and Jim Brady when they meet in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

    The Rosalie unit in Castlerea, is a residential facility for elderly  people with psychiatric conditions. The facility had catered for up to 34 residents in recent years, but is now down to 12 people, with no new admissions for some time.

    Three years ago, when news of the possible closure of the facility emerged, the people of Castlerea and surrounding areas were given a commitment by the then Minister Kathleen Lynch that the unit would not close.

    But according to Liam Walsh, a member of the delegation travelling to Dublin on Wednesday, and whose mother is a resident of the Rosalie Unit, the future of the unit remains in the balance.

    He spoke to Midwest News today about why the delegation is travelling to Dublin for the third time this year in an effort to retain the unit.

  • An emergency meeting of Roscommon county Council is getting underway about now (10am) to discuss what’s termed the “imminent” and “brutal”closure of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    There has been widespread local anger over the confirmation from the HSE, earlier this month, that the Rosalie Unit would cease to function as a community psychiatric unit.

    Alternative care arrangements, according to the HSE, are being put in place for each of the present residents of the facility.

    Up to 70 protesters gathered at the gates of the Rosalie Unit on Thursday last to condemn the HSE decision.

    Councillors are calling on Roscommon County Council to take a stance on the issue.

  • A family advocate, who travelled to Dublin yesterday for a meeting on the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, has described the events as a shambles.

    HSE management failed to attend the meeting between a local delegation and Ministers Harris and Daly over the future of the unit.

    A local delegation made up of Oireachtas members, family advocates and local councillors were due to meet with Ministers Harris and Daly and Executive Clinical Director for HSE West Amanda Burke and Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan. However Ms Burke and Mr Canavan were not in attendance.

    This was despite a formal request from Senator Maura Hopkins’ office requesting they attend so a clearer picture could be gained about what is happening with the Rosalie Unit.

    It was agreed that the meeting would be reconvened and Senator Hopkins wants a new date confirmed by the end of today.

    Liam Walsh’s mother is a resident of the Rosalie Unit and he was party of the family delegation that travelled to Dublin yesterday. He told Midwest News they are beyond frustrated

  • Clinical assessments on the 12 residents of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea were completed in May and were not paused as had been the understanding.

    That’s the update given to Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins by Chief Executive Officer of the HSE Tony Canavan this week.

    Concerns were raised with Senator Hopkins by family advocate Liam Walsh yesterday, that the clinical assessments were continuing, despite the fact that Minister Jim Daly had requested they be paused.

    Mr Canavan told Senator Hopkins that he had replied to Minister Daly’s letter requesting the pause and told him that he was not possible for him to agree to a pause on the assessments of the residents.

    He also said the clinical assessments were in fact completed in May of this year and now an independent review of those assessments is now taking place.

  • There were heated exchanges in the Dail today between Roscommon Fianna Fail Deputy Eugene Murphy and Minister with responsibility for Older People Jim Daly over the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Deputy Murphy says every attempt is being made at present to move a resident at the unit to a private nursing home, despite assurances that no patient would be moved before a review of the services there is complete. The review is due to get underway in January.

    Minister Daly told Deputy Murphy that neither he, nor the Roscommon TD are clinicians and therefore can’t decide what is in the best interests of residents.

  • The HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer says no decision has yet been taken on where residents of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be moved to.

    Tony Canavan was speaking to Midwest News today following the news earlier this week that the unit will not continue to operate in its current guise.

    It follows a review by Dr James Anderson of the clinical assessments of the needs of each resident of the unit, on behalf of the HSE.

    The assessment concluded that two of the current residents required inpatient psychiatric care in a different setting, while the remaining 10 patients’ needs were exclusively supportive of general nursing at the time of inspection.

    Tony Canavan told Midwest News this evening that the unit will cease to be used as it currently is and alternative arrangements will be put in place for the 12 residents.

    He told Midwest News the HSE only wishes to ensure patients are receiving the best possible care they can.

    Meanwhile the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today strongly condemned the decision of the HSE to close the Rosalie Community Psychiatric Unit in Castlerea. The PNA said the closure, which the HSE has claimed is in line with the recommendations of the Anderson Report, is a clear breach of repeated political commitments to keep the unit open and is against the wishes of service users and their families/carers.

    The PNA is seeking urgent clarification on HSE comments to the media regarding their concerns over the level of care being provided in the Rosalie Unit. The PNA totally rejects these reported comments from the HSE that have caused deep distress to staff working in the unit. The PNA is meeting with HSE management in the next week to seek clarification on the implications for services of the Anderson Report, and the HSE response to the closure of the Rosalie Unit.

  • The HSE has no intention of admitting new residents to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. That was clearly stated just last week by HSE Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan at a meeting of the unit that was attended by Ministers, public representatives and local interests.

    At present the Rosalie Unit is a HSE residential home for about 12 residents with dementia.

    A local campaign group has worked hard to keep the facility open, after the HSE had stated its intention to close it some months ago. 

    However that decision was reversed and local Minister Denis Naughten received a firm commitment from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the unit as a residential facility for patients with mental health issues, would remain open. Leo Varadkar had given the same commitment in 2015 when he was Minister for Health and the future of the unit was under threat. 

    But despite the promises and commitments to date the HSE are insisting that no further residents are being admitted to the facility and instead are providing seven options that it sees as potentially the way forward for the unit.

    Yesterday Minister for Health Simon Harris was in Boyle for the opening of a new Primary Care Centre and he met a delegation supporting the retention of the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility for patients with specific mental health needs. The Minister outlined his frustration and dismay at the lack of progress on this matter and he again reiterated the government’s commitment to its retention.

    Local Senator Maura Hopkins was at the meeting last week between the HSE and public representatives.  She has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley why all interested parties are frustrated with the HSE’s response to date.

  • The HSE has confirmed that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea is to close.

    The unit accommodates 12 mostly elderly patients with Alzheimers and dementia, and there have been fears for some time that the HSE may close the facility, as there have been no new admissions since September 2016.

    However, a strong campaign has been underway in Castlerea for several years to keep the unit open, for the current residents and to provide care into the future for those with psychiatric needs.

    Independent assessments have been carried out recently on the residents, and their families have today received letters from HSE Community Healthcare West Chief Officer Tony Canavan, which says the review of the clinical assessments concludes that the current residents do not require continuing in-patient psychiatric care.

    Therefore "the Rosalie Unit will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit". and the letter says a transition plan will be put in place to arrange alternative care for each of the residents

    News of the closure was announced to staff in Castlerea this morning.

    However, a son of the one of the residents in the Rosalie Unit says the battle is not yet over.

    Liam Walsh, who's mother Breda has been a patient there for the past ten years, told Midwest News that it's a dark day for the residents, their families and staff at the unit, as well as the wider community....

  • A Roscommon Senator says she is very frustrated after HSE management failed to attend a meeting between a local delegation and Ministers Harris and Daly over the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins says she is very frustrated following the events of yesterday evening.

    A local delegation made up of Oireachtas members, family advocates and local councillors were due to meet with Ministers Harris and Daly and Executive Clinical Director for HSE West Amanda Burke and Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan. However Ms Burke and Mr Canavan were not in attendance.

    This was despite a formal request from Senator Hopkins’ office requesting they attend so a clearer picture could be gained about what is happening with the Rosalie Unit.

    It was agreed that the meeting would be reconvened and Senator Hopkins wants a new date confirmed by the end of today.

  • An Independent review in to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will take place this week.

    This news has been confirmed to Roscommon Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy by CHO West.

    Dr. Jim Anderson who is a Consultant Specialist in Psychiatry of Later Life and has significant expertise in this area will carry out the review.

    The service users and their families are being invited to meet with Dr. Anderson to input into the process.

    Deputy Murphy says he hopes this review is progress in the right direction.

  • A large number of protestors have gathered today outside the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, as the first of the residents was due to be transferred to another facility this morning.

    Last week, the HSE confirmed that the Rosalie unit will cease to function as a community psychiatric unit.

    Following assessments of the 12 residents, the HSE said two required inpatient psychiatric care in a different setting, while transition plans are being put in place for all of the residents.

    It was expected that the first of the 12 residents in the unit would be transferred elsewhere this morning, but it's now believed that has been deferred.

    Large numbers of local people have gathered since early morning to protest at the closure of the unit.

  • A deputation from Castlerea were planning to travel to Dublin later today to meet with the Health Minister Simon Harris and the Minister for Mental Health Jim Daly, in relation to the future of the Rosalie unit in Castlerea.

    However, Minister Daly has requested that the meeting be postponed, due to diary issues.

    It’s now been rescheduled for three weeks time -Wed 28th March.

    There are major concerns about the future of the home, which accommodates 13 elderly people with Alzheimers and dementia, after the HSE said the facility is not part of its long-term plans.

    No new admissions have been taken into the home for the past year and a half.

    However, a campaign is underway locally to retain the Rosalie unit, with thousands of people signing a petition to that effect.

     

  • The HSE West has finally revealed its plan to change the current use of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, that is controversially closing as a residential facility for people with dementia.

    A meeting took place earlier this week in Merlin Park, with Minister Jim Daly, HSE Management, Dept of Health Officials and Roscommon Senator Maura Hopkins. The Fine Gael Senator had been requesting such a meeting for some time, in response to concerns over the information being provided by the HSE to residents of the Rosalie unit and their families.

    HSE management now say that work is being progressed on a proposal to change the current use of the Rosalie Unit.  The proposal is to develop a Mental Health Hub at the site which would include two Day Hospitals, one serving children and adolescents and one serving the elderly. 

    At the meeting, HSE Management also gave a commitment that it will work with residents and their families but, according to Senator Hopkins failed to commit to her request that individual details of Dr. Anderson’s report on the needs of the elderly residents, be shared with the individuals and their families.

    The Senator spoke to Midwest News today.

  • In the Dail yesterday the Minister for the elderly Jim Daly, indicated that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will not be closed down as a HSE facility, but may no longer serve as a residential facility for elderly people with alzheimers or dementia.

     He was responding to another question on the facility’s future submitted by local Fianna Fail deputy Eugene Murphy.

    Last Friday, Tony Canavan of the HSE told oireachtas members that a report on the unit, that is home to twelve residents, is strongly indicating that the residents needs would be better met in an alternative location.

     Residents and their families strongly disagree, but Mr Canavan said that while the unit as it stands looks set for closure, he has passed on the report to a medical expert to review before a final decision is made.

     Councillor Murphy told Midwest News this afternoon, that yesterday’s statement by the Minister appears to concur with Mr Canavan's.

  • The Government has confirmed that committments given in 2015 in relation to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be honoured.

     Roscommon-based Minister Denis Naughten has received a letter from the Minister for Mental Health & Older People Jim Daly, confirming that the Rosalie Unit will continue to form part of the service delivery for older people.

    This comes as a welcome development for the residents of the unit and their families, as a senior HSE manager had indicated recently that the facility may close.

    Minister Daly points out that the matter of the best interests of the current residents of the Rosalie Unit is a separate issue, and independent assessments of each resident will be carried out to assess the most appropriate long-term care plan for each individual.

    That's perfectly acceptable, according to Liam Walsh, who's an advocate on behalf of resident's families.

    Following a packed public meeting on the issue again on Monday night in Castlerea, Liam Walsh has welcomed this letter from Minister Daly, which he says is great news for the current residents, and those who might need the unit in the future.

  • At a packed public meeting last night in Castlerea, Minister Naughten confirmed that the Taoiseach will honour the commitments given in 2015, securing the Rosalie unit as a residential facility,

    Confirmation in writing confirming that commitment is expected later today.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother is a resident in the Rosalie Unit for some years, told Midwest News this morning that the packed hall was delighted with that news last night.

    The Rosalie Unit, a residential facility for people with mental health issues, looked destined to close in the coming weeks, according to the HSE.

    A campaign to keep the facility open has been ongoing for some years now.

    Mr Walsh told Midwest News this morning that people power appears to have won out in this case.

    Minister Naughten had been speaking with the Taoiseach about the Unit’s future earlier yesterday, before attending the public meeting, and he said the Taoiseach assured him that the commitments, given by Leo Varadkar himself, as Health Minister in 2015, to the people of Castlerea concerning the Unit’s future as a residential facility will be upheld.

    Mr Walash says they are now awaiting that verbal commitment in writing later today, but he said he is cautiously optimistic that the Rosalie Unit as a residential facility has been secured.

     

  • The HSE has been accused of betraying the residents of the Rosalie Unit, a facility for adults with mental health issues in Castlerea, by families who say they will fight plans to close the unit.

    Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has confirmed, to the Irish Times, that he will attend a public meeting in the town to night as relatives of those living in Unit reacted angrily to a HSE suggestion that their care needs would be better served elsewhere.

    Minister Denis Naughten, lobbied Minister for Health Simon Harris on the Unit’s future last week, and is under pressure locally to keep the facility open to the 12 residents in it at present.

    Liam Walsh, whose mother, Breda (83), has been living in the Rosalie Unit since 2009, said Mr Naughten had told a public meeting last February that the unit would not close while he was part of the government.

    Mr Naughten lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the government decision to close the emergency department of Roscommon hospital in 2011.

    Recently  Tony Canavan of HSE West  told a meeting with local representatives that a report completed on the unit indicated that better care for residents could be provided in a different setting and said the unit was set for closure. However, he said before a final decision is made the report was being reviewed by a medical expert.

    Mr Walsh pointed out that there were 33 residents in the unit when his mother moved in and said following a decision to stop all new admissions in September 2016, the number had dropped to 12. “They have been trying to close it by stealth,” he insisted.

    We believe they want this building for something else, but we are prepared to keep fighting

    Mr Naughten confirmed he would raise the issue this week with the Taoiseach and said he would continue to press Mr Harris and Minister of State Jim Daly in relation to the unit.

    In response to a query on the unit by Fianna Fail deputy Euergene Murphy  last week in the Dail, Minister Jim Daly’s response concurred with the likely closure of the unit as a residential facility.

    The public meeting will take place in Hester's Golden Eagle Lounge this evening at 8.30pm