Local TD Brian Stanley has said that badly-needed progress has been made on Portlaoise and Mountmellick Day Care Centres – but that the situation in Abbeyleix is much more “precarious”.
“Recently I raised in the Dáil the fact that the three day care centres in Laois were closed at the same time with Minister Mary Butler by way of special debate,” he said.
“The Minister committed to follow up on that point and has reported back to me on progress.
“The reply from the Minister outlines that renovation works are under way at St Vincent’s Hospital Mountmellick and are due to be completed in April.
“The long awaited renovation works in the Portlaoise Centre on the Timahoe Road have started and it is expected these will be completed in March. This is to be welcomed.
“The situation with Abbeyleix is more precarious, as the day care centre which was located at the hospital has been closed. This has now been incorporated for use in the Nursing Unit, which means that a new facility will have to be provided.
“I have made the point to both the Minister and the HSE that the best place for the day care centre is on the same site as the hospital.
“The HSE have informed me that they are ‘Actively sourcing a suitable building to provide day services for Abbeyleix and the environs of Mountrath and Timahoe’’.
“The Minister has stated that those who attended the Abbyleix facility will be offered a place in the Portlaoise day care centre.
“However, this does not have the capacity to take on extra people and securing an extra building in Abbeyleix needs to be a priority.
“My information is that one building that may have suited to this purpose is no longer available.
“I am actively pursuing the need for full day care centres to be put in place in Abbeyleix with the Minister and the HSE.”
The issue was also addressed at this week’s Portlaoise Municipal District meeting following a motion from local councillor John Joe Fennelly.
SEE ALSO – HSE confirm completion date for day-care services renovation works in Portlaoise and Mountmellick