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Unit at Cherry Orchard to be available to residents

A unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin will be made available as an additional relocation option for residents at the facility, according to the Health Service Executive.

It follows months of protests over a decision to move 68 residents off the campus to facilitate refurbishment works.

While the majority of residents were transferred to another nursing home in Clondalkin, some refused to leave Cherry Orchard Hospital.

Families called on the HSE to allow their Ioved ones remain with staff they knew, due to cognitive difficulties such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The HSE informed residents, their families, and staff yesterday that completion of the permanent flooring and fire safety works necessary to address health and safety risks will require the closure of two units in the hospital by July.

Fifteen residents currently remain on site but have been informed that a third unit will be made available as an additional multi-occupancy option.

Families have welcomed the decision through the advocacy group Care Champions, which has supported them throughout.

In a statement they described the last six months as a cause of “needless upheaval and distress” to their loved ones, adding that the trauma inflicted on all residents was “unconscionable”.

“This long-awaited victory belongs to the Families who have relentlessly campaigned to keep their Loved Ones in a secure, familiar, homely environment.”, they said.

The group has called for “a full, transparent investigation” into what it described as an “indefensible and disastrous HSE blunder”.

They claim that more than 20 people have died since the announcement that residents would be transferred from the hospital.

However, the HSE has maintained throughout that those who died did so due to natural causes.

The statement from the families concluded that they hoped it would serve as “a wake-up call” to prioritise “dignity and respect for all, especially those entrusted with the provision of health care services in our country”.

The HSE is nearing completion of refurbishment works on the Hazel Unit in Cherry Orchard Hospital, which will require HIQA registration.

“This option is in addition to the temporary single ensuite accommodation available in another nursing home in Clondalkin or in another available registered nursing home of their choice”, it added

It has also confirmed that all residents will be given the option to return to the Willow and Sycamore Units once the permanent works have been completed.

“The ongoing provision of services for older persons at Cherry Orchard Hospital is an essential part of the HSE’s plan to support older persons to access services closer to home”, it concluded.

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