No Data On Suicide Deaths In Hospitals - HSE

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has revealed it does not hold any data on suicide deaths in their units, or immediately following discharge from their services.

Sinn Féin TD, Pat Buckley, previously submitted a Parliamentary Question to HSE to provide him with figures for the number of suicides which have been recorded on the grounds of public hospitals following a presentation to A&E departments over the past five years.

However, in its response, the HSE stated that no such data exists.

Mr Buckley slammed the revelation stating it "makes no sense" that the Department of Health, the HSE or its services do not keep a record of how many suicides take place in their services or immediately after discharge as in order to provide adequate services where and when they are needed, "we need to collect data and allow this to inform policy".

The party's deputy Mental Health spokesperson said: "From media reports, we know that there were two cases of deaths by suicide in Blanchardstown hospital, but there may be more cases. We just don't know. I have spoken to countless families that tell stories of their loved ones being refused care at overcrowded A&E departments or be discharged only to take their lives within a day or two.

"Identifying the scale of the problem, the potential causes and risk factors will not solve the problem completely but only by acting with this information in mind can we truly tackle the problem effectively.

"If a person in mental health distress presents to A&E, they should not be turned away; if they are at risk of suicide, they should not be placed alone in a separate room or discharged without any care provided, but this is happening and it is resulting in tragic deaths. This is not the fault of the staff but the fault of underfunding which has led to severe shortages of staff, overcrowding, high waiting lists and no out of hours mental health provision."


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