Vital health services need to be kept in Clondalkin

by Padraig Conlon

Serious concerns have been raised over plans to move mental health services from Clondalkin to Tallaght.

Local councillors passed a motion at this month’s meeting of Clondalkin Area Committee requesting the services are kept in the area.

The HSE, who run the service, have proposed moving the Community Adult Mental Health Team to Glenabbey in Tallaght because they’ve deemed the unit they use in Clondalkin village not fit for purpose.

People Before Profit Cllr Madeleine Johansson, who brought the motion, said the decision is causing a lot of worry.

“It’s deeply concerning that a vital service for our community is being moved out of the area,” she told Dublin Gazette.

“It will make it very difficult for many to continue using the service if they have to travel all the way to Tallaght.

“From some areas of Clondalkin you have to get at least two buses to get to Tallaght.

“Everyone recognises that we have a Mental Health crisis in Ireland and not enough services.

“This move by the HSE will further restrict services for those in our community who need them the most.

“The HSE must reverse this decision and find an alternative location in Clondalkin immediately.

“There is also widespread concern that the promised Primary Health Centres for Clondalkin and North Clondalkin will not be delivered due to the over-spend in the National Children’s Hospital.

“We urgently need appropriate facilities for all primary care needs including mental health services.”

In a statement released to Dublin Gazette, the HSE said any proposed move to Tallaght will only be temporary.

“Clondalkin Community Mental Health services are planned to be delivered from the proposed new Clondalkin Primary Care Centre on Boot Road,” they said.

“This Primary Care Centre is being developed and delivered by the HSE’s Operational Lease mechanism.

“The HSE Primary Care services have recently vacated the existing Boot Road premises and have entered into an Agreement for Lease with the developer of the Primary Care Centre and will include the community mental health services when open.

“The HSE anticipates that the developer will commence construction in the coming months.

“The reason we are relocating temporarily from Clondalkin Village is due to the Health and Safety risks which have been identified with the current building for both clients and staff.

“Going forward, the plan is to deliver Community Mental Health services for Clondalkin in the proposed new Clondalkin Primary Care centre on Boot Road.”

In response to the HSE’s statement, Cllr Johansson said the local community’s previous dealings with the HSE give her cause for concern.

“Even a temporary move will be very difficult for service users, particularly those with dual diagnosis who often have chaotic lives,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the experience with the HSE in the area have not been great, and while they are making promises that the service will be operating in the new Boot Road primary care centre, we don’t know as of yet when that facility will be open.

“There has been a history of centralisation of other services in the county to Tallaght to the detriment of services in Clondalkin.

“I have received no further communication from the HSE since the motion was passed.”

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