HSE says changes at St Joseph’s Hospital will protect patient services and dignity

The HSE has issued a statement this morning saying St Joseph's Hospital has capacity for 67 beds currently ; 29 long stay beds and 38 short term care beds. The report from Rhatigan architects makes provision for 65 beds in total.

Earlier, Fr John Joe Duffy said the capacity of St Joseph's was being cut from 78 to 64, just a week after it emerged the Church of Ireland facility at the hospital was said to be facing closure.

With regards to St Joseph's Hospital and Ramelton Community Hospital, the HSE says some critical upgrading works are required to the hospitals so as to improve patient services, as well as privacy and dignity.

The architects recommended the relocation of the Church of Ireland Chapel within St Joseph's and relocation of the shared multi denominational area that exists within Ramelton. The HSE says there is no question of downgrading or eliminating access to religious facilities in the hospitals.

The HSE will consult with all residents, their families and relevant churches when definite plans are being drawn up.

In its statement, the HSE also confirms that work in relation to the development of the new community hospital in Letterkenny is being advanced, with the procurement of the design team.

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Statement in full - 

A review report has been completed by Rhatigan Architects on behalf of the HSE re development of the community hospital infrastructure in the Letterkeny and East Donegal Primary Car Network.  This includes St Joseph’s Hospital Stranorlar, Ramelton and Lifford.  Work in the relation to the development of the new community hospital in Letterkenny is being advanced with the procurement of the design team.

As part of this review residential areas in the hospitals were examined and recommendations were made on how best to upgrade these hospitals to ensure they comply with HIQA standards.

St Joseph’s Hospital has a capacity for 67 beds currently.  This includes 29 long stay beds and 38 short term care beds.  The report from Rhatigan architects makes provision for 65 beds in total.

With regards to St Joseph’s Hospital and Ramelton a number of critical upgrading works are required to the hospitals so as to improve patient services and patient privacy/dignity.  The architects recommended the relocation of the Church of Ireland Chapel within St Joseph's and relocation of the shared multi denominational area that exists within Ramelton.  There is no question of downgrading or eliminating access to religious facilities in the hospitals.  The proposal is to relocate within the facilities to improve the overall layout and access.

The HSE will consult with all residents, their families and relevant churches when definite plans are being draw up.

The report takes into account the increasing age of our population, their expressed preference in  terms of service setting and of the need to provide residential facilities for older people that have their foundations in safe, quality and effective care.