NO PLANS FOR RESTORATION OF DUNLEER’S HSE CLINIC
THE HSE have visited centres in Dunleer that could replace the Community Welfare Clinic after the decision to close the clinic in the town.
Fergus O’Dowd TD recommended locations so that the service could remain operational in the area.
The office of Minister Regina Doherty responded to him, stating ‘ our Area Manager visited both premises suggested by you, but we are also exploring a number of other options to enhance the provision of CWS services across the County. We will revert as soon as we have had the opportunity to fully consider how best to utilize our resources to maximum effect.
‘The Department operated an outreach CWS clinic from HSE premises in Dunleer each Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon. An average of 7 customers attended, but the majority did not require a payment.
‘On 21st March 2018, the HSE building manager informed the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that the condition of the building had rapidly deteriorated and now posed a serious Health & Safety risk to customers and staff. The Department had no option but to immediately suspend its outreach service.
The Department took immediate steps to minimise any inconvenience to its CWS clients.
‘Other social protection services for the Dunleer area (e.g. Jobseeker and One Parent Family Payment) are dealt with by Drogheda Intreo Centre, and Ardee Branch Office. Notices were posted directing CWS customers to the Drogheda Intreo Centre which is 15km away and on a main bus route. The CWS service there is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week, with an emergency service on demand. Customers can also avail of the CWS clinic in Ardee Health Centre on Tuesdays and Fridays.
‘Customers have been provided with a phone service staffed by experienced CWS personnel in Drogheda and Ardee. If a customer is unable to visit the centres, for example due to illness, arrangements can be made to conduct a home visit.
‘The Department is closely monitoring the impact of the closure. While it has attracted a lot of local media attention and concern has been expressed by public representatives, the new arrangements appear to be working well thus far. No customer complaints have been received and feedback on the telephone service has been very positive. The majority of queries have been fully resolved over the phone and customers have been happy to have avoided otherwise unnecessary visits to the old clinic in Dunleer.
‘The HSE does not intend to renovate the premises in Dunleer as no HSE staff were located there. The situation is being kept under review by this Department, and we are currently exploring a number of options to enhance the provision of CWS services in County Louth.’
The clinic in Dunleer