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.