Cork County Council Urge Investment in St. Stephens Hospital Glanmire

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council are to write to the Health Minister Simon Harris and the HSE to express their concern over the lack of investment in St. Stephens Hospital Glanmire.

The councillors want to see the creation of an A&E department, a 24/7 suicide prevention unit and homeless shelter built on the 117acre site.

At present the facility treats people with mental health issues, children with learning difficulties and houses a teenager foster unit.

The main hospital is underutilised and many buildings dotted around the site lie derelict.

Independent Cllr Ger Keohane who tabled the motion at the January sitting of Cork County Council on Monday 9 January, received the full backing of his colleagues.

Cllr Keohane’s call comes just weeks after the HSE announced a €92 million capital investment into four Cork hospitals up to 2021. The money is to be divided amongst thirteen projects located between Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, South Infirmary Victoria and Bantry General Hospital.

It’s understood both the HSE and the Department of Health have future plans to develop a brand new acute hospital on the South side of the city near Curraheen.

The Glanmire based Cllr said rather than develop a new facility “we should utilise what we have in the here and now.”

Chairman of the Cobh Municipality Fine Gael Cllr Anthony Barry said it was a shame to see the hospital not been used to its full potential.

“It’s got everything going for it on the north side of the city. Plus it can also service the satellite towns on that side. Accessibility is second to none. We all know the problems we have getting into the city for A&E, parking and everything else is not available.

Deputy Mayor Independent Cllr Kevin Conway said “it is an ideal site it has the potential of proper parking no other hospital in cork has.”

Fine Gael Cllr Kay Dawson (a heath care worker) said “while it has been policy to deliver more services to people in their home environment, there are times when people are acutely unwell that they need to be admitted to a hospital situation.”

She said mental health services are in crisis due to severe underfunding.

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