Service for addicts to accept first admissions in Cork at end of year after delays

Service for addicts to accept first admissions in Cork at end of year after delays

The project will be for chaotic addicts who need immediate help ahead of accessing residential treatment.

A €1m drug and alcohol stabilisation service for the south of the country is expected to take in its first admissions at the end of this year — more than a year after it was set to open.

The Health Service has revealed that a premises for the unit has been secured in Cork city to cater for eight people in Cork, Kerry, the Mid-West and the southeast.

The project will be for chaotic addicts who need immediate help ahead of accessing residential treatment. The stepping-stone service will focus on addiction as well as the mental health issues of addicts.

The unit had been expected to open in the autumn of 2021 and was delayed, as efforts were being made to secure a temporary premises.

But in response to a parliamentary question by Sinn Féin’s spokesman on addiction, Thomas Gould, head of service for Primary Care in Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Priscilla Lynch, said: “We were expecting that this was going to be available to us from the start of 2022. However, there have been some delays in the handover of the building. It is expected that CKCH will have access by July 2022.” 

Location setting

The coordinator of Drug and Alcohol Services for the Health Service Executive in Cork and Kerry, David Lane, told the Irish Examiner that the priority in terms of the project is that it would be located within an acute hospital setting. He said a commitment has been given to have it located at an acute hospital within the next three years.

He also said it is not possible to disclose the location of the temporary unit or the acute hospital where it will eventually be located, until legalities have been finalised.

He said however that everything should be finalised by July, at which point the recruitment of 21 staff will begin. The staff will include nurses, occupational therapists and addiction counsellors. The facility will cater for males and females on a short-stay basis.

There are currently two such centres in Dublin. The Cork facility will be the first of its kind outside the capital.

Deputy Gould said the project was announced in October 2020 as part of Budget 2021 and he believes recruitment should get underway as soon as possible for the delayed unit.

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