Residents and staff to be impacted by two ward closures at Dublin Hospital

Sycamore and Willow to be closed for circa 12 months, owing to flooring issues

by Rose Barrett
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Cherry Orchard Hospital

Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan said: “There is deep concern among staff, residents and families at the HSE’s proposal to close two wards the hospital. The planned closure will affect 110 staff and approximately 95 residents. I met with staff last week and they feel very anxious and upset about the closure.”

He continued: “Sycamore and Willow wards are set to close. This is as a result of HIQA reports requiring refurbishment works to be carried out. Residents are set to move to a private residential service in Clondalkin. This will impact on staff but it will particularly impact vulnerable residents and their families.”

However, in response, HSE Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow stated that, following HIQA inspections in May this year, the flooring condition in both the Sycamore and Willow wards were identified as posing a possible potential health and safety risk (Regulation 17). The wards sadly, will likely be closed for circa 12 months. 

Cllr Doolan added: “Staff who have worked in Cherry Orchard for years will be moved to services in Dublin, Wicklow or Kildare and it’s very disappointing that there was no proper consultation or engagement with staff or families. It is essential that everyone effected is dealt with in a respectful, caring and considerate manner.”

Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow Community Healthcare (DSKWWCH) Older Persons’ Services (OPS) and HSE Estates carried out the required review, which indicated that the flooring has underlying structural issues which require immediate remedial work. Ongoing monitoring and risk assessment by the service is currently in place to ensure that there is no immediate hazard to residents.

“DSKWWCH OPS management team considered several plans in consultation with HSE Estates and HIQA to address the works required in Sycamore and Willow unit that would have allowed residents to remain on-site during completion of works. Following consideration of these plans, it was agreed that to ensure the health and safety of residents, to minimise disruption to residents during these works, and to comply with the HIQA requirement for a shorter timeline for completion of works  in these units, Sycamore and Willow will close for a period for a minimum of 12 months to facilitate the works required for regulatory compliance.” 

There are a total of five wards at Cherry Orchard Hospital which is a designated centre for the care of older people located on the hospital campus in Ballyfermot, D 10. The Centre comprises five units: Beech, Aspen, Hazel, Willow and Sycamore, housing 95 residents in total. Willow and Sycamore Units currently house 68 residents.

“We regret that residents will have to be accommodated elsewhere temporarily. The health and safety of our residents is of paramount importance, and we will work to address the structural issues promptly to ensure HIQA compliance so that residents can return as soon as possible,” said the HSE on behalf of DSKWWCH.”

Cllr Doolan concluded: “I would urge the HSE to immediately consult with all those affected and to ensure all information and alternatives are considered before any final decision is made.”

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