A community hospital that has served the people of Cobh for more than 100 years is under imminent threat of closure, with just five weeks’ funding left to keep the service running, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
The dire financial situation at Cobh Community Hospital is outlined in a letter from INMO representative Liam Conway to local politicians this week.
Mr Conway warns the financial crisis could have “serious consequences” for the 44 elderly residents and 15 nursing staff.
Sean O’Connor, a member of Cobh Town Council as well as Cork County Council, said he was devastated by the news.
“I was born there in 1946,” he said. “My two eldest children were born there. My daughter is nursing there now. My grandmother and mother died there. This is devastating news. The hospital has served the community so well for so long.
“What are all the elderly residents supposed to do if it closes? Where will they go? Where will the staff go?”
Mr Conway said last night that the INMO wrote to the HSE yesterday asking for assistance.
He said the hospital was “pivotal” as a unit caring for the elderly and to close it would put further pressure on HSE frontline services as well as causing “serious distress to residents”.
The HSE said last night that Cork Kerry Community Healthcare “is in regular contact with the board of Cobh Community Hospital and is confident that the hospital is financially viable and will be able to continue to serve the population into the future”.
Cobh Community Hospital, established in 1908, is a trust run by a voluntary board of management.