Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Wicklow County Councillors censor discussion on threat to Roundwood Health Center

Sinn Féin County Councillor and General Election candidate John Brady has expressed dismay at his fellow Councillors on Wicklow council who voted to censor any discussion or debate on the threat to the Health Center in Roundwood which is potentially facing closure by the HSE. Brady raised the issue at Mondays County Council meeting and stated that he had been contacted by members of staff who have informed him of their redeployment and the closure of the essential service in Roundwood.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Brady said "At Mondays council meeting i raised serious concerns about the future of the Health Center in Roundwood. I have been contacted by members of staff from the facility who have informed me that from the end of April all the nurses that cover Roundwood, Barndarrig, Rathnew, Ashford and Wicklow Town will be based in the new HSE primary health care center on the Port access road in Wicklow and that the facility in Roundwood will close. Unfortunately a decision was taken by the majority of Councillors to censor any discussion on the issue and stick their heads in the sand."

Brady continued "The facility which has provided a critical service to the entire population of Roundwood and surrounding areas for many years. The closure of the facility would mean that people would need to travel to the primary health center on the Port Access road in Wicklow Town.This is made very difficult due to the lack of public transport and the distance from Roundwood."

"A number of Councillors spoke to say that senior management in HSE have said there is no threat to the Health Center, but there is a review of the services underway and any discussion at council level would be pointless. I think those Councillors are naive and probably have little experience of the dealings of the HSE. I have unfortunately many years experience of dealing with the HSE and how they operate. They try impose changes or cuts to services without consultation and by keeping people in the dark. If their plans are rumbled they say their is a review ongoing. This is the same language they used with Wicklow District Hospital, the A&E in Loughlinstown and the Orchard Welfare Home in Bray. All ultimately closed."

Cllr Brady concluded "I would sooner listen to the word of the nurses who have been told that they are being redeployed at the end of the month, rather than the management who are trying to buy time for themselves and stop any public backlash. By sticking their heads in the sand and censoring discussion on the issue at council level the Wicklow Councillors are effectively facilitating the HSE in its attempt to close the center in Roundwood. Sinn Féin nor i will not sit back and allow this to happen and we intend on fighting any attempt to close the facility in Roundwood."

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