No plans yet to extend hotel HSE agreement

By Maurice Garvey

THE current contract between the HSE and Citywest Hotel as a self-isolation and quarantine centre for health care workers expires at the end of June – however the HSE told The Echo there is no approved plan as of yet to extend this agreement.

Almost €25million of taxpayers’ money has been spent leasing out Citywest Hotel from early on in the pandemic to the end of February, despite a very low occupancy rate.

Citywest Hotel External 1

Citywest Hotel has been leased by the HSE

Since it became operational on April 1, 2020, there have been a total of 2,695 admissions to the self-isolation facility, according to the latest data from the HSE.

Currently there are 133 people in the self isolation facility.

A further 147 health care workers are currently quarantining at Citywest.

Citywest has 750 bedrooms but with the occupancy rate as low as 26 patients at one stage, Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe is “not convinced it’s being used to it’s full potential”.

“When it became known that it wasn’t being used to it’s full potential, that’s when senior management should have kicked in. It seems to be half-measures, like travel from outside the country. The amount of money is huge when you look at what the hotel was built for.”

Deputy Crowe continued: “It could have been used for other outbreaks, in Direct Provision, I know some stayed there but not to the extent they should have.”

He believes the original reasons for utilisng the hotel as a health facility during Covid-19 was the “right one” but it “definitely needs a review of resources”.

Citywest Hotel and Convention Centre is owned by the developer group Tetrarch Capital which has assets under management worth €500million, according to its website.

A HSE spokesperson said the current contract expires on June 30.

“The availability of infrastructure to meet the mandates associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are under constant review by the HSE, however, as yet, there is no established or approved plan to extend Citywest.”

Since it became operational on June 1, 2020, to facilitate healthcare workers who need to quarantine for 14 days, there has been 2,200 admissions to the Healthcare Worker self-isolation accommodation up to March 29.  

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