Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy is calling on Minister for Health Simon Harris to provide a clear commitment to the future of St. Vincent’s Care Home in Athlone.

Deputy Troy made the comments after patients at the care home were informed at short notice that they would have to leave the facility. Patients and their families were told last night that they had to be evacuated as a result of an electrical problem at the care home.

“Patients at St Vincent’s Care Home have been left in limbo following this sudden and shock announcement. The HSE sprung this announcement on patients and staff without any prior warning,” said Deputy Troy.

“Minister Harris needs to make a statement on this matter and outline what exactly is going on at the care home. Patients, their families and staff can’t be left in the dark. The Minister needs to provide a clear timeline as to when the facility will re-open. This can’t be used as an excuse to downgrade any services at the care home.

“The HSE also needs to set out its contingency plan in relation to this. There are many elderly patients at St Vincent’s who rely on a support network of family and friends in the Athlone area. It’s simply not feasible to move these patients a far distance from Athlone.

“The manner in which this whole incident has been handled by HSE management leaves a lot to be desired. It’s placed a huge burden on families who were told that their loved ones would be moved to a different location within a matter of hours. Patients and their families need clarity on why this happened, and when they can expect to return to St. Vincent’s Care Home.”