Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has reiterated calls for Camphill Community at Ballytobin, Callan to be saved following HIQA’s decision to cancel its registration. The decision was taken over health and safety concerns.

Deputy Aylward said, “Parents and guardians of the residents at the Camphill Community in Ballytobin, Callan in County Kilkenny are very concerned that their loved ones will face relocation if a resolution to this HIQA action cannot be found. This would be very unfortunate and parents have told me of the great respect they have for the staff at the community and the fantastic relationships they have established with the residents, some of whom have been at Ballytobin Community for over 30 years.

“Parents and residents alike are hopeful that if another service provider can be found, and issues flagged by HIQA identified and rectified, then the community could be retained in its current form. It would be a very tough adjustment for the residents of Camphil Community if they had to be relocated to an alternative location. I have taken many calls from parents and guardians who have huge praise for the unique and holistic approach at Camphill Community where heavy medication is a last resort. One mother told me she is extremely worried that her son would be heavily medicated for behavioural challenges and would not experience the fullness of life that he currently enjoys as a resident of Camphill Community.

“I understand that Camphill Community are currently in discussions with the HSE with regard to the options available to them. Under the terms of the Act which provided for the establishment of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), Camphill Community has the option to appeal this decision to the District Court within 28 days of being served notice. The HSE has assured service users and their families that it will be working with the management, staff and volunteers of Camphill Community following the decision of the regulator with regards to service delivery.

“The HSE have stated that they currently await an update from Camphill Community in this regard. The HSE has committed to working closely with the management, staff and residents at the facility in the coming days to agree the actions that now need to be taken including a detailed communication plan for all stakeholders. I have written to Minister Finian McGrath and spoken to him twice in a personal capacity about Camphill Community and he has committed to keeping the situation under daily review and added that he would have no problem meeting with the group once the issues on the ground have become clearer,” concluded Deputy Aylward.