The Psychiatric Nurses Association has raised concerns about further ward closures in St Finan’s Hospital, Killarney, Co Kerry before new replacement facilities for patients are provided.
Health Minister James Reilly had said there should be no further ward closures at the hospital until a €6m replacement unit was built.
However, the PNA yesterday claimed another ward was due to close by the end of September. “The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has told HSE South that they wish to see St Peter’s ward closed by that date,” a PNA spokesman said.
St Peter’s has nine male residents with a history of challenging or disturbed behaviour, he said.
He claimed the HSE saw the decision of the MHC to seek the closure of St Peter’s as “an opportunity to make further cutbacks and further savings on staff due to the recent rush of retirements”.
A HSE spokesman, confirming St Peter’s ward is to be closed in September, said the residents will be “placed appropriately”, adding the HSE wished to ensure old mental health facilities such as St Finan’s are closed and replaced with modern facilities.
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