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Joint Statement - HSE and Saint John of God Community Services

Agreement has been reached today between Saint John of God Community Services (SJOGCS) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) that will enable the Service to continue in operation and for its existing 8,000 children and adults to continue receiving intellectual disability and mental health services, as currently provided.

The Board of St John of God Community Services has confirmed the withdrawal of its decision to transfer services, which had been issued to the HSE on 16th February 2024. The decision to withdraw the notice has been endorsed by the Board of St John of God Hospitaller Services Group.

Today’s announcement comes on the back of intensive discussions between both parties over the past ten days. There is an agreement and timeframe to arrive at a time-bound implementation plan for the Sustainability Impact Assessment Report. There is a commitment to the in-year funding for 2024, and there is a guaranteed timeframe within which final decisions will be made about the issues arising from the historical deficit in SJOGCS.

Management at SJOGCS have been informing those in receipt of services, their families and  staff  confirming that St John of God Community Services will continue to deliver its full range of services at all existing locations.

Chief Executive, Clare Dempsey, said it was a welcome development “This agreement represents a positive outcome for all parties and is certainly in the best interests of the 8,000 people to whom we provide intellectual disability and mental health services around the country. The feedback and messages of support from families and staff asked that we do all in our power to retain the service, and we are therefore very happy to be making today’s announcement. I know it will be a matter of relief to many thousands of people.

The talks process with the HSE brought many difficult issues to the table over recent weeks. I believe we have emerged from this process with a broader level of understanding of each other’s positions and a new more partnership-oriented approach towards addressing the underlying problems that both we and indeed our sector faces, and that from here we can hopefully advance the wider agenda for all in a more positive manner.

I would like to pay tribute to our Board members and our Group Board while also recognising the contribution of the HSE and its Chief Executive, Bernard Gloster, in bringing the process to this successful point of conclusion. There is much work yet to be done in putting the various elements of our new implementation plan into action, but I am confident it can be achieved.”

Commenting HSE CEO Bernard Gloster added, “I am pleased to have arrived at a satisfactory solution that will enable Saint John of God Community Services to continue deliver important care to the 8,000 children and adults using their services. I know that this resolution will be a great relief to those who avail of these services, their families, and the staff who provide them at over 300 centres around the country. I also want to acknowledge the support of Minister O’Gorman, Minister Rabbitte and colleagues at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.”

Last updated on: 28 / 02 / 2024