20 November 2015
By Bryan Smyth
A public meeting will be held in Clonakilty tonight and will focus on the need for greater community care for older people, the future of nursing homes and district hospital and Home Care support.
Councillor Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, the Fianna Fáil Dáil candidate in Cork South West, is hosting the meeting at the Fernhill House Hotel from 8pm.
Speaking in advance of the meeting Margaret said: “I wanted to organise this meeting because of the high volume of concern I’m receiving from people about the need for greater dignity and investment in community care for our older citizens. I have been struck by how many people are bringing up this issue, not just for them but younger people are growing increasingly fearful that our health services will not be there for their parents later in life.
“I want to see staff shortages, closed beds and overcrowding tackled as a matter of priority but I’m also concerned about investment. We know from HIQA that our nursing homes and community hospitals need more investment to make them safe and keep in line with best standards. This caused a lot of concern about what would happen in the immediate future in Cork. I know HIQA has allowed six more years for investment to be completed but I’m concerned the Government will not breakaway from the urgency that was needed.
“Fianna Fáil is committed to the principle of care in the community. We want to increase supports that will allow older citizens to live independently in their homes. However we recognise this won’t be possible for everyone. That’s why we need more places available under the Fair Deal scheme and we anticipate an extra 700-800 additional places needed each year.
“The public meeting I will be hosting with our Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher on Friday will discuss the concerns around investment in our community and district hospitals. It will also address the need for strong home help support including care packages and proper home help hours in west Cork.”