WATCH: Cherry Orchard Hospital

Full transcript:

Deputy Patrick Costello: I wish to raise a serious issue relating to Cherry Orchard Hospital and the impact it is having on families. A briefing paper from the multidisciplinary team last August highlighted the significant clinical risk relating to a move, including the potential for high mortality rates. Will the Minister of State meet with families and residents to address their concerns before any move takes place? We have seen the horrendous impact on the people who are resident in the facility and are having to move.

Deputy Mary Butler: We have to put in perspective what I am dealing with as Minister of State with responsibility for older people. HIQA has issued a clear directive that it does not believe the premises is safe and that there is a fire risk. I have to listen to that. As of 27 February, 40 residents had been transferred from Cherry Orchard campus. There are 22 residents still on site. I know the families are not happy, but I have to put patient safety first. I met Bernard Gloster, chief executive of the HSE, last week. Mr. Gloster and his team are engaging with the families. As far as I am concerned, however, when it comes to the care of older people, I cannot take a risk when it comes to fire safety. These people, 40 of whom have already been moved, remain in the care of the HSE. They have moved to a different facility and will be moved back as appropriately as possible. However, we cannot have a situation where we have residents in a facility that HIQA will not be able to register because it is a fire safety risk.