« BackChief Health Officer with the HSE says no decision made to close St Mary of the Angels

The Chief Health Officer with the HSE in Kerry and Cork says no decision has been made to close St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort.

St Mary of the Angels

Families of the 77 residents of the centre have expressed serious concerns about plans for decongregation or moving residents into the community.

Chief Health Officer with the HSE in Kerry and Cork, Ger Reaney is to meet with St John of God management nationally and locally to ensure communication with families is how it should be going forward.

Mr Reaney is also to meet the parents’ representative organisation to make sure their concerns and queries are addressed.

He says with proper planning and consultation with families some of the residents of St Mary’s would benefit from greater participation in community activities and living in a house in the community:

Meanwhile, Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath has again moved to reassure families who are concerned the decongregation plan for St Mary of the Angels.

The minister says he is fully supportive of the policy as set out in the document “A Time to Move on from Congregated Settings”.

In the statement Minister Finian McGrath say the welfare and dignity of residents is absolutely paramount and this is about giving people with disabilities a life of their own choosing.

The Minister says this would be without the constraints of a large organisation around them while still having the supports they need.

The HSE’s 2016 National Service Plan has set a target of 165 people to move from institutions in 2016 into suitable accommodation and the Minister says three people from St Mary’s will be moved early next year.

Minister McGrath says this will be done in full consultation with all residents and their families and this process is not something that happens overnight and will take place over a number of years.

The Minister says the HSE has a comprehensive transition plan in place and he is committed to ensure the resources required to support a person moving out of a congregated setting such as funding, equipment and staff are put in place.