HSE seeks court order compelling man to leave medical facility
Health authority alleges man, who says he has nowhere else to go, is now a trespasser
The HSE has asked the High Court for orders compelling a man who it says has been fit for discharge for some time to leave one of its medical facilities. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.
The HSE has asked the High Court for orders compelling a man who it says has been fit for discharge for some time to leave one of its medical facilities.
Lawyers for the man told the court that he is prepared to leave the facility but has nowhere to go and is seeking suitable accommodation from a local authority. Neither the man nor the HSE facility he is currently residing at can be identified for legal reasons.
The man, who is in his 30s, was last year admitted to a hospital and required surgery due to a very serious medical condition. Since then he has undergone various treatments, made a relatively good recovery and for the last number of months has been staying in a single room at the HSE-run facility.
The HSE claims that given the improvement in his condition, there is no clinical reason for him to remain at the facility, and he has been clinically discharged. However, it claims that due to an inability to obtain any alternative accommodation, the man has refused to leave.
The HSE claims that the local authority offered the man accommodation but he turned it down. Efforts were also made to see if the man could stay with family members or friends, but these have not proven successful.
The man is now taking up a bed where there is no medical basis for his continued presence at the facility, the HSE said, and other patients on a waiting list are being prejudiced by his unlawful occupation of the room and bed at the facility.
He has no lawful entitlement to be there, and is a trespasser, the HSE further claims.
The HSE, represented by Shane Murphy SC, is seeking various orders including one requiring the man to vacate the facility forthwith.
It also seeks orders restraining the man, or any other person, from seeking to return him to the HSE facility, other than by appointment, coming with 100m of the facility, contacting staff and from interfering with the facility’s operation.
Late last week Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds granted the HSE permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on the man.
When the matter returned before Mr Justice David Barniville on Monday, Vincent Heneghan SC, for the man, said it was agreed that his client “should not be at the facility” but he had “nowhere to go”.
Counsel said that there had been discussions with a housing authority in regards to finding the man somewhere suitable to reside, which it is hoped will ultimately be successful.
Counsel asked for the matter be adjourned as his client required time to prepare a sworn statement in response to the HSE’s application. The judge agreed the matter was urgent but said the defendant did require time to swear an affidavit. He adjourned the matter to later this week.