19th August 2021
The new Waterford Residential Care Centre will provide an enhanced service and represents a major step forward for community healthcare in the region. Officially opened in recent weeks the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler TD, the 30-bed Farronshoneen, 20-bed Farrandale and the 20 bed Grange units in the Waterford Residential Care Centre now house residents of older persons services previously accommodated in St. Patrick’s.
The 20 bed Aidan’s unit at the new centre replaces a shared model for Psychiatry of Later Life residents previously provided at a building located on the grounds of the nearby St. Otteran’s Hospital.
Construction of the €25.4 million project began in early 2018 on a site adjacent to St. Patrick’s Hospital and was completed last year. It features 100 single en-suite rooms, spread across four households.
Speaking at the Official Opening of the Waterford Residential Care Centre, Minister Butler said she was “delighted to be here with you to officially open this state of the art, purpose built facility in Waterford. It is a major step forward for community healthcare in the Waterford and immediate South Kilkenny areas. This development represents the commitment by the HSE to enhance community services for older people and mental health services.
“The replacement of existing accommodation for older persons (in St. Patrick’s) and psychiatry of later life service users (in St. Aidan’s) is inclusive of the transfer of staff in these services to the new Waterford Residential Care Centre. The St. Patrick’s Hospital building will be retained for rehabilitation services and the Waterford Integrated Care for Older People Services (WICOP) and Home Support Offices.”
Also speaking at the Official Opening, Ms. Kate Killeen White, Chief Officer, HSE/South East Community Healthcare noted that “South East Community Healthcare (SECH) is pleased that a development which has been identified as an important element of care provision for older people in the region has been officially opened.
“Over the years, both St. Patrick’s Hospital and St. Otteran’s Hospital have had an excellent reputation as healthcare facilities. The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging and we in SECH are deeply appreciative of the support received from families of residents and the wider community, not only for the enormous challenges we have overcome with Covid but also for the momentous work involved in enabling us to open this service here in Waterford.”
She added: “We are delighted for the residents and families involved that have relocated to the Unit. Our staff teams have worked incredibly hard to turn this vision into reality and to meet the regulations set by HIQA and the Mental Health Commission. This facility enables us to deliver an enhanced service in line with infection, prevention and control requirements – which is particularly important as we continue to operate in a Covid-19 environment. I cannot thank everyone enough in delivering on this significant achievement.”
Mr. David Heffernan (Head of Service/Mental Health for South East Community Healthcare) further added that the new 20-bed Psychiatry of Later Life Unit at Waterford Residential Care Centre was “a massive step forward for community mental health services in the Waterford area. People will be familiar with the outstanding care given by the Psychiatry of Later Life team to residents at the previous St. Aidan’s ward on the grounds of St. Otteran’s. In working to meet expectations set by the Mental Health Commission, it has been part of our plans to bring about an enhanced service for residents, their families and staff.”