08/04/2014

Call Made For 'Immediate Action' On Psychiatric Services Crisis

The Government has been criticised for ignoring warnings about an escalating crisis in north Dublin's psychiatric services.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Disability, Mental Health & Special Needs, Colm Keaveney TD, has demanded an urgent statement from the Minister for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch, and Health Minister James Reilly following reports that very sick patients with serious psychiatric difficulties have been forced to wait up to eight days at Beaumont Hospital's emergency department before being moved to a psychiatric bed.

"I find it extremely disturbing that this dangerous and totally unacceptable situation was brought to Minister Lynch's attention last year and she has still done nothing about it," Deputy Keaveney said.

Adding: "The Minister has been sitting on a letter from psychiatrists warning that mental services in north Dublin are 'in crisis mode'. She was warned months ago that patients with psychiatric difficulties are being discharged before they should be, forced to wait in totally inappropriate surroundings without the care that they need, or forced to travel outside of Dublin for treatment because the beds simply are not available in the capital. How did Minister Lynch think this letter was not worth replying to? How could she think this was not worth following up in any way?

"I will be seeking to raise this issue in the Dáil at the earliest possible opportunity this week. Minister Lynch has a number of questions to answer here: Why didn’t she reply to this letter? Did she pass it on to the Health Minister James Reilly? What actions were taken within the Department to address the concerns that were raised by the Dublin psychiatrists? What provisions are being made to increase the psychiatric bed capacity in north Dublin?"

(MH/JP)

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