Kerry TD raises concerns about temporary closure of community beds

A Kerry TD has raised concerns about plans to temporarily close beds in community hospitals and nursing homes.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says it can’t provide exact details of how individual settings will be impacted as part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and a refurbishment programme.

Kerry Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae says he is horrified at what he claims is the closure of 27 beds at St Columbanus Community Nursing Home and 15 beds at Killarney Community Hospital; he says beds are being closed in Killarney when there is a huge need for them.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says it can’t say at this point exactly how many beds will be temporarily removed and it is currently engaging with staff and unions, but for around 18 months there will be a temporary reduction in the level of public residential service.

This is due to measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and refurbishment and building programmes across centres in Kerry and Cork.

It says no facility will close and the long-term future of all residential facilities is secure, along with all jobs.

No resident will be asked to leave and any change to bed numbers will be in the best interests of residents.

Some facilities will not be able to accept new admissions for some time.

Before the end of 2021, all residential facilities must have no more than four residents sharing a bedroom to ensure compliance with Health Information and Quality Assurance (HIQA) standards.

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare says in order to balance any beds that are temporarily unavailable, it will be offering more home support packages and working to keep people in their own homes.