HSE u-turn on psychiatric care unit in Tuam, Co Galway

Friday 18 January 2013 12.03
Up to €500,000 will be spent on Toghermore House in Tuam to address fire safety requirements
Up to €500,000 will be spent on Toghermore House in Tuam to address fire safety requirements

The Health Service Executive has reversed a decision to move residents from a Co Galway psychiatric care unit to alternative accommodation.

It had been planned to relocate 16 residents from Toghermore House in Tuam after concerns over fire safety were identified in an audit last month.

Several shortcomings were found at the site, despite a €1.4m refurbishment in 2011.

It has since emerged that no fire certification was carried out at that time.

The HSE said in December that due to patient safety concerns and costs associated with carrying out improvements, suitable alternative accommodation would be found for the 16 residents.

The decision prompted protests in Tuam and a campaign to ensure the facility was maintained in full.

The HSE confirmed today funding would be provided to ensure the building meets relevant fire safety standards.

It estimates that in the region of €500,000 will be required to complete the works.

Tuam and District Mental Health Association said it will contribute €60,000 towards the improvements, on condition that it gets a guarantee that the existing residence and future service provision at Toghermore are maintained.

The HSE said residents will now be able to remain at the facility and any temporary movements, necessitated by the improvement works, will take place in consultation with consultants at the unit.