Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to honour the commitment he gave in the Dáil last month and ensure that immediate funding is put in place to keep the dedicated dementia care home in St. Joseph’s Shankill open.
Speaking today, Deputy Brady said:
“The threatened closure of St. Joseph’s in Shankill has come as a great shock to residents, users of the day-care facility, families and staff, many of whom are from Wicklow.
“It was announced last month that the day-care service which currently accommodates up to 120 people every week will close at the end of the year and the residential home which is home to 60 dementia patients is under serious financial difficulty.
“Last week, discussions took place with the National Treatment Purchase Fund, unfortunately they didn’t go well and the board of St.Joseph’s have had to take the unfortunate decision to cease admissions. This is despite the fact that there is a huge demand for dementia specialist care facilities.
“I questioned the Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil about the threatened closure of St. Joseph’s. He gave categorical assurances that the funding would be provided to keep the doors open.
“The current situation which has been caused by the gross underfunding of St Joseph’s by the government is causing anxiety, stress and uncertainty for the service users, their families and all the staff in the facility.
“Minister Harris must honour the commitment he gave in the Dáil and immediately intervene to ensure that the staff in St. Joseph’s can continue to do the excellent work that they do and that the service is maintained and protected to give certainty to some of the most vulnerable citizens in the State.
“There are 55,000 people in Ireland living with dementia and that number is expected to double in the next 20 years. We therefore, need increased funding for dementia services and we need to see the development of more services specifically for dementia care, not less.”