Opening of Dublin Simon Community HIV respite/stabilisation service in Ushers Island

Dublin Simon HIV ServicesOn Friday I had the honour of launching the Dublin Simon Community’s new respite and stabilisation unit for people with HIV. Here are some of the remarks I made:

I am very pleased to be here today during ‘Simon Week’ to officially open Dublin Simon’s new HIV respite/stabilisation service in Ushers Island.

Dublin Simon has helped many people over the years to improve their lives from incredibly challenging circumstances – assisting people on a pathway out of homelessness, helping to rebuild their lives and become part of the wider community.

Today, I am honoured to launch the expansion of Dublin Simon’s services that will provide help to people living with HIV.

I am particularly pleased to be here as I am aware that this event marks the culmination of two years hard work. These services will ensure that HIV patients with addiction problems can access accommodation and support.

I understand that this new service is already providing a more amenable care pathway for HIV patients where they have a safe place to rest while managing their complex illnesses.  In this regard, it is great that each patient can avail of 24/7 qualified nursing staff, a visiting primary care GP Monday to Friday, access to on site counselling and a key worker to address their complex needs, be they related to their health, housing or family.

The launch of the Dublin Simon HIV Respite Stabilisation Unit will help to provide greater effective working relationships within the community and help to integrate clients into services that they require e.g. counselling and holistic therapies etc. These new arrangements will lead to better outcomes for patients and help to enhance their lives.

It is very positive to learn that since its opening the unit has already looked after 60 patients, including patients previously treated in the Rowan Ward.  This new service is not only supporting existing patients, but also managing to reach others who are in need.  The long list of services that refer their patients here is testament not only to the fact that this facility is needed, but also that it is held in high regard by the experts in this field.

I commend all those involved in the establishment of this important service and in the successful transfer of the patients from the Rowan Ward to this new setting.  It provides a very positive example on how the HSE and NGOs such as Dublin Simon can work together to address the needs of patients within the current constrained financial situation.

I commend Dublin Simon which has been doing outstanding work for over 40 years, helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  They have helped homeless men and women address their physical and mental health issues, as well as overcoming addiction on their journey out of homelessness.

I especially thank them for their dedication in responding to local needs and providing innovative local solutions such as this new facility.  I congratulate you all and wish you continued success in all you do.

Go raibh maith agat.