Award for mental health service

Staff at Roscommon Mental Health Services were this week awarded a Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award for a project which saw the mental health community service expand from a five day a week to a seven day a week service. Michael Tobin, General Manager, Roscommon PCCC said, ‘I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved in the project and thank all staff for their dedication and commitment from the planning stages right through to implementation.’ Previously, HSE West’s, Roscommon Mental Health Services provided Community Mental Health Services five days per week with no weekend community services available. Service users had to attend the Acute Inpatient Unit at Roscommon County Hospital when they were experiencing a crisis, needed support, medication supervision, or administration of injections. The aim of this service development was to extend the community service in the Roscommon sector from a five day to a seven-day service. This provides a community service to clients with mental health needs in County Roscommon that is equitable, client-centred, community based and responds to their needs.   The multidisciplinary team undertook a needs analysis which included identifying the views of the service users, carers/relatives. This highlighted a gap in the current service and the need to extend the community service to a seven-day service. Following the planning and communication with all stakeholders, community services was extended to a seven day service from June 2006, using existing staff resources and implementing a creative use of staff rosters. The service operated on a pilot basis for six months initially and was evaluated from the service users and nursing staff perspectives. It was clear from the data analysed, that the service users had benefited in different and unique ways. The service is now up and running since December 2006. Frank Murphy, Local Health Manager, Roscommon, said, ‘We are very proud of this prestigious award which once again recognises staff innovation and willingness to embrace change as we continue to develop health services across County Roscommon.’ There has been a marked increase in people availing of the service which is a hallmark to the success and quality of this service development. Key outcomes include: