Concerns raised over mental health services



Local Oireachtas members expressed their growing concerns following a meeting with Chief Health Executive Tony Canavan last Friday.

  Speaking following the meeting between Oireachtas representatives, HSE Forum members and officials, Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice called for a public inquiry into mental health issues in Co. Roscommon.

  Meanwhile, Senator Maura Hopkins said she was “very concerned regarding the future of mental health centres in the county” and a lack of consultation with families of residents at both the Rosalie Unit and a hostel which was recently closed in Athleague.

  “We were informed that an action plan has now been developed in order to implement recommendations from the external report into mental health services. I was not provided with clear evidence of a pathway that seeks to improve our mental health services. We were given no clear vision of how we want them to improve. It is very difficult to have confidence in the service when so much of the discussion is focussed on closures with no clear, practical outline of how we improve services,” she said.

  Senator Hopkins also expressed deep concern regarding the recent findings of a Mental Health Commission report at the department of psychiatry at Roscommon University Hospital. The report found ‘human rights breaches’ when it came to patients’ outside access.

  “The Mental Health Commission report on the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit in Roscommon is very serious. Among the issues identified, significant shortfalls in staffing, meals and recreations facilities were found. At the meeting last Friday, I emphasised strongly to Tony Canavan that these issues need to be dealt with immediately. I have also raised these concerns with Minister Jim Daly,” she said.