AN Edenderry councillor has said that he will pursue the issue of staffing levels at Ofalia House.
Cllr Noel Bourke said that he has been approached by a substantial number of people over the past few weeks and asked to pursue concerns they have about the reduction of services in Ofalia House in Edenderry.
“People are concerned that staff who are on sick, maternity or other leave are not being replaced and this is leading to services being curtailed,” said Cllr Bourke who added that this is not good enough given the good work which is done in Ofalia House and the obvious need for it in the North East Offaly area.
Cllr Bourke said that as a member of the committee of The Friends of Ofalia House the current situation is a source of great annoyance to him as it is such a highly valued facility in the area and the fact that the local community have contributed hugely to it over the years through various fundraising events which have led to many additional facilities being provided for the comfort of the residents which would not otherwise be provided by the HSE.
“I believe that the HSE, which we are told is a caring organisation, should be ensuring that staff is at a level which meets the needs of the community and provides the necessary services for the area,” said Cllr Bourke who added that this would remove a lot of the worry that many people have at present. He said that while the HSE has to work to a budget they should ensure that facilities such as Ofalia House are adequately funded so that they can employ the correct numbers of staff and provide the required services in the area.
“I am calling on the Offaly members of the Regional Health Forum to ensure that corrective action is taken to ensure that adequate staffing levels are provided at Ofalia House. This is a matter that cannot be left in the uncertain way it is at present and a commitment from both the Department and the HSE on correct staffing levels must be got for the good of the facility and to allay people’s fears,” said Cllr Bourke who added that he will continue to pursue this matter through the appropriate sources.