Connaughton raises concerns over Toghermore facility


East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton has this week contacted the HSE to raise his concerns about the future of an 18-bed mental health residential facility at Toghermore in Tuam.
‘I have contacted the HSE to raise my concerns about this threatened closure and the effect it will have on families and residents. I believe that it is crucial that full and proper consultation takes place with families before any decision is made.
‘An independent fire safety report undertaken in September of this year was delivered to the HSE last week and shows shortfalls in relation to fire safety that need to be addressed immediately.
‘I am firmly of the view that these shortfalls in fire safety should be addressed quickly and should not be used as an excuse to close the residential facility. Just two years ago a major refurbishment of the facility took place and questions must be asked as to why this upgrade was allowed to proceed if it did not ensure that the facility met the minimum fire and safety standards.
‘I note that a statement from the HSE states that patients may have to be relocated and that this process has commenced and will involve input from staff and residents. Proper consultation and proper information to the families of residents will be crucial in coming days. The timing of this announcement must be questioned, coming just before the holiday period. Surely a high level of staffing until these important questions are answered could allay concerns in relation to fire safety?
‘The Toghermore campus is central to the delivery of important mental health services in the East Galway region as it is comprised of a day hospital, day centre, training centre and workshop, primary care centre, an out-patient service and a service for psychiatry of later life. It is imperative that all elements of this important service are retained while the necessary work to upgrade the residential facility is carried out.’