A PROTEST against cuts in services at the MacBride Home in Westport will take place this Saturday at the Octagon in Westport.
Local campaigners who have organised the event say services in the home are being cut and they are afraid that further cuts will mean it will force its closure. The protest is being organised by the ‘Save our MacBride Services’ group and spokesperson John Brawn said they wanted the public to be aware of what was happening in the unit.
“What is happening at the unit is a death by a thousand cuts,” he told The Mayo News. “We feel we have to speak out and make a stand and let people know what is going on.”
Mr Brawn said that day care services his 94 year old mother availed of for the last five years were cut and he received a letter from the HSE saying that it was not possible to retain the services because of staffing issues.
“My mother used to go every Thursday and loved going where she enjoyed the music and go dancing for two or three hours. It was something which she looked forward too and all of a sudden it was cancelled. We were told before Christmas that the HSE were not bringing it back. The day care services was great for elderly people like my mother who enjoyed meeting people her own age and the dancing was good for her. That has now been taken from her and you can see the deterioration in her since then,” he said.
Mr Brawn said that he has since found out that nursing staff are only being offered three month contracts and felt that no person could afford to take up a contract like that. He said he had no issues with the staff in the unit but he and other people fear that the staffing issues will result in further cuts to services and the run-down of the unit.
The protest takes place at the Octagon at 2pm this Saturday and he called on the Westport public to show their support and call on the HSE to bring back the cancelled services.