Crooksling home being wound down

By Mary Dennehy

THE HSE is winding down St Brigid’s nursing home in Crooksling despite plans to move the service to a new building in Tallaght not kicking in until 2020, it has been claimed.

Last week, The Echo reported on HSE plans to close the 56 beds at St Brigid’s, moving residents to a new 100-bed community nursing unit and day-care centre planned for Tymon North.

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The HSE last week came under fire when it was revealed in the executive’s Capital Programme for Nursing Homes that it planned to close Crooksling on the back of the new development at Tymon North, filling more than half of the 100 new beds by closing existing beds – and a nursing home that many have, for a number of years, been actively campaigning to save.

This week, a staff member spoke to The Echo about current cuts to services at St Brigid’s, cuts which are impacting on the care of its 56 high-demand residents.

The staff member, who wishes to remain unnamed, told The Echo: “St Brigid’s gives a very special kind of care to high-dependency women who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“These ladies are very challenging and many private nursing homes will not admit them due to the level of time and specialised care that they need and deserve.

“Here at St Brigid’s we spend time not only caring for the residents but engaging with them and getting to know the person behind the dementia.”

The staff member claimed that a number of high-paid agency workers have been hired in recent months, all of whom have an administrative role – while the number of care staff working across the nursing home’s three units are being reduced.

According to reports, a care worker has been removed from each of the three night shifts with proposals in place to reduce the day shifts by one or two care workers.

“We have a responsibility to these women and our job is to give them the best quality life we can,” the staff member said.

“However, everything is being stripped back – they’re even cutting back on sheets, pillows, incontinence pads, everything is being counted.

“It’s draining for staff who are trying to give the highest level of care to these ladies and we’re fearful that these cuts will continue.”

The staff member added: “How does it add up to have so many administrative staff ruining such a small place?

“The focus should be on care, that’s our job. You can’t compartmentalise these ladies. They deserve to be looked after and not left living in a place that is being chipped away around them.”

Responding to The Echo, David Walsh, a HSE chief officer in community healthcare, said: “It is a function of management of each Community Nursing Unit to ensure that adequate staffing is present on each ward for each portion of the day.

“This is to ensure the safe care of the patients and also that costs are appropriately incurred.

“This is an ongoing process and the manager takes into account the dependencies of the patients, the number of patients and what is considered best practice from a regulatory perspective. Good models of care from other HSE units are often used for comparison purposes.

“The management at St Brigid’s Hospital, Crooksling, are currently undertaking a review of the staffing levels on the various wards in line with the above.”



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