A second public meeting, the details of which have yet to be confirmed, is to be held by families frustrated by the continued closure of the Annalee Respite Centre in Cootehill, and what they claim is the failure by the HSE to date to find alternative accommodation.
“We're tired of not being told what's happening, we're tired of being kept in the dark, and we're tired of being ignored. It's simply not good enough,” Jennie Farrelly, spokesperson for the Parents Action Group for Respite Services in Cavan/Monaghan told The Anglo-Celt this week.
The Annalee View Respite Centre was shut since early February after the HSE identified a problem with the oil tank and an environmental assessment advised that the facility be vacated “immediate effect”.
The closure only served to compound the frustrations of families of residents. The Annalee centre had been catering for up on 100 families up until August/ September last year, when it began to exclusively accommodate one child in what was accepted as a “crisis case”.
The Parents Action Group was subsequently established and highlighted the issue via a public meeting in Cootehill, and a follow-up protest at St Davnet’s site in Monaghan.
However, just as soon as a breakthrough seemed imminent, the oil leak was discovered and the centre closed “until further notice”.
Two months on, the HSE are still awaiting a full detailed report of the damage caused and the amount of necessary works required to re-open the centre.
HSE seeking premises
A spokesperson for the HSE informed The Anglo-Celt last week that the health body are “actively seeking an alternative premises in order to continue the provision of residential respite Services".
However, any potential rental premises must meet the exacting standards of regulator HIQA before a deal can be struck.
In the interim, the HSE say support services are in operation as well as other alternative respite options at weekends to support families.
The HSE have been trying to accommodate some adult service users in Steadfast House in Carrickmacross, but this is only a four-bed facility, and it too is under pressure already.
“HSE shall continue to liaise with families and staff in relation to this matter. Affected families can contact the disability manager and her team regarding updated information and queries.”