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Hands Off Our Elderly's Care Beds in Waterford

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To: Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children, Republic of Ireland. Why this petition This petition is an urgent appeal to halt the recently-announced plan to close the 19-bed St. Bridget's ward in St. Patrick's Geriatric Hospital, Waterford from July 2009. What is St. Patrick's St. Patrick's Geriatric Hospital is a recognised centre of excellence in the care for the older adult. It leads locally and nationally in innovating and in developing care-pathways that improve the standard of care given to high-dependency older adults such as stroke victims and the very frail. This is being achieved by a highly-qualified and skilled workforce working to meet each individual client's needs through the practice of genuinely patient-focused care. Why is the ward being closed The announcement from the Health Service Executive (HSE) stated that the 19-bed ward was to be closed due to a health and safety issue as deemed by the Health and Safety Authority. However, no documentation for any such issue has been produced. Fire Safety concerns were raised but no such issue has been documented either. The HSE says that a 50-bed unit is to be built within the grounds at some unspecified time in the future, however, no planning permission has been applied for. It typically takes one and a half years between applying for planning permission and completion of such a project. Therefore, it appears that the closure and resulting loss of beds for 19 high-dependency adults is really a cost-cutting measure. Will there be a saving Nursing homes do not cater for such high-dependency patients so cutting beds at St. Patrick's will inevitably result in up to 19 fewer acute beds being available in Waterford Regional Hospital. Result: Fewer beds, longer queues in Accident and Emergency, more patients on trolleys, greater cost per patient, less appropriate care. Conclusion This simply makes no sense neither from a cost-centric perspective, from a care-centric perspective nor, given our aging population, from a demographic perspective. Are our most vulnerable relatives and neighbours to suffer as the result of an ill-thought-out and inappropriate measure such as this There are already over 200 people on the waiting list for this hospital. Closing St. Bridget's ward would be detrimental to the care of these older adults but also to the high standards of care, innovation, patient's choice, patient's rights and patient-centered care all of which you promote. Rectify this please and protect our elderly relatives and neighbours. Truly Concerned,


Patients, staff, relatives and friends of St. Patrick's Geriatric Hospital, Waterford. 1. Please sign the petition below. 2. Email friends to sign too. 3. Lobby your Ministers/TDs below: Minister for Health, Mary Harney: Minister's_Office@health.irlgov.ie Minister of State for Older People: aine.brady@oireachtas.ie Waterford TDs: ministersoffice@dast.gov.ie (Martin Cullen, FF) bwk@eircom.net (Brendan Kenneally, FF) john.deasy@oireachtas.ie (FG) brian.oshea@oireachtas.ie (Lab) Kilkenny TDs: bobby.aylward@oireachtas.ie (FF) john.mcguinness@oireachtas.ie (FF) mj.nolan@oireachtas.ie (FF) mary.white@oireachtas.ie (Green) philip.hogan@oireachtas.ie (FG)


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