Sunday, March 3, 2024

Saint John of God to continue services after HSE agreement

Saint John of God Community Services (SJOGCS) has withdrawn its decision to transfer services to the HSE, after both organisations reached an agreement that will enable the charity to continue its work.

The Board of Saint John of God had said on February 16 that from Summer 2024 it would be unable to continue its operations – which provide intellectual, disability and mental health services to around 8,000 children and adults.

However, following discussions with the HSE, both parties issued a statement today confirming that the services will continue, after a commitment was made to provide funding for the remainder of 2024.

Today’s announcement comes after ten days of negotiations between the organisations, and includes a plan to produce a time-bound implementation plan for the SJOGCS Sustainability Impact Assessment Report.

“There is a commitment to the in-year funding for 2024, and there is a guaranteed timeframe within which final decisions will be made about the issues arising from the historical deficit in SJOGCS,” the statement said.

“Management at SJOGCS have been informing those in receipt of services, their families and staff, that St John of God Community Services will continue to deliver its full range of services at all existing locations.”

The charity’s chief executive Clare Dempsey welcomed the agreement. “I know it will be a matter of relief to many thousands of people,” she said.

“The talks process with the HSE brought many difficult issues to the table over recent weeks. I believe we have emerged from this process with a broader level of understanding of each other’s positions, and a new more partnership-oriented approach towards addressing the underlying problems that both we, and indeed our sector faces, and that from here we can hopefully advance the wider agenda for all in a more positive manner.”

HSE CEO Bernard Gloster added: “I am pleased to have arrived at a satisfactory solution that will enable Saint John of God Community Services to continue deliver important care to the 8,000 children and adults using their services.

“I know that this resolution will be a great relief to those who avail of these services, their families, and the staff who provide them at over 300 centres around the country.”

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