HSE plan to move some social services out of city

THE HSE plans to move some city centre social work services for troubled children to an industrial estate in Blanchardstown.

Under the plan, conveyed to social work teams late last week, the HSE will lease a building in Blanchardstown Corporate Park in west Dublin to cover community care services in areas criticised last week in a report by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA).

The HSE confirmed that is has approved the lease of the Nexus Building in Blanchardstown Corporate Park to facilitate what it said was the “centralisation of social work services, in Dublin North, to accommodate North West Dublin LHO service and administrative staff, North Dublin LHO service and Dublin North Central LHO services”.

The move, set to take place early next year, will save the HSE €184,000 per year.

That will mean community Care services for the North West Dublin Local Health Area, including clinical, management and administration services, will move from existing locations in Rathdown Road, Grangegorman, Dublin 7; Ashtown Gate, Navan Road, Dublin 15; Park House, North Circular Road, Dublin 7; and Ormond House, Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.

Social workers have expressed alarm at the move, claiming service users at existing locations are less likely to travel to Blanchardstown to access services, meaning remaining services in the city centre, such as at Mountjoy Square, will be swamped.

In a statement, the HSE said: “Consolidation of social worker services is now essential to better co-ordinate and integrate the delivery of this service.

“Recent assessments of the area’s social work service in relation to children in care by HIQA have led to recommendations that services be better integrated and monitored.

“The relocation of social work services will facilitate restructuring as recommended by HIQA, independent reviewers and the Agenda for Children, 2007. Other services that form a part of Social Work, such as Family Support, will also be able to co-locate with their colleagues.

“Social work services will continue to be provided in other existing locations throughout the city. Most social worker/client contact takes place in the clients’ homes or in local primary care centres and this will continue.”

In reports published last week HIQA said inspections of foster care services in Dublin North West and Dublin North Central were “in a state of crisis”. Serious deficiencies were uncovered, including that children had been left in unsafe placements.

According to the HSE, the Nexus Building in Blanchardstown Corporate Park will provide an opportunity to consolidate the location of numerous services and activities.

“This consolidation will provide both financial and managerial benefits. The savings realised by the surrender of existing leases and cost reductions will be a revenue saving to the HSE of €184,000 per annum. The transfer to the Nexus Building in Blanchardstown Corporate Park is likely to take place early next year.”


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