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Written Answers. - Portrane (Dublin) Hospital.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 78. Miss Flaherty Information on Mary Flaherty Zoom on Mary Flaherty  asked the Minister for Health Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if he will give details of the ceiling collapses in the mentally handicapped unit of St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9230/96]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Mr. O'Shea): Information on Brian O'Shea Zoom on Brian O'Shea Responsibility for the provision of services to people with a mental handicap at St. Ita's Hospital is a matter in the first instance for the Eastern Health Board.

Rushbrook House is a large house on the grounds of St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane. It accommodates 18 residents with a mental handicap. On 11 November 1995, a square metre plaster portion of a ceiling in Rushbrook House day room collapsed. Three residents received abrasions. All the residents [117] were immediately relocated, pending an engineering survey. All the ceilings in Rushbrook House have since been checked, and extensive renovations carried out. In addition, while the house was vacated, the Eastern Health Board fully repainted and redecorated the house, carried out extensive upgrading of the hot water system, and completed further minor upgrading works. The house will be ready for reoccupation in two weeks.

As the Deputy is aware, I recently announced the allocation of an additional £2 million capital over 1996-97 to the Eastern Health Board to, inter alia, assist in the relocation of residents with a mental handicap from St. Ita's Hospital to more appropriate facilities, and to facilitate the closure of older units. It is also intended that further funding will be allocated towards the maintenance and upgrading of units which will remain on the campus of St. Ita's Hospital.

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