Mental health review delay slammed

Deputy Denis Naughten and Cllr. Rachel Doherty have led calls for a review of mental health services in Roscommon to be completed.

  Independent TD Naughten has sought an update from the Health Service Executive on the review of mental health services in County Roscommon that it commissioned last year.

  Deputy Naughten said the review was ordered in part because of serious concerns over the operation of the service that he had raised.

  An independent external team from Northern Ireland sought submission from the public last year as part of its review of the quality, safety, and governance of mental health services in the county.

  In his submission, Deputy Naughten sought a fully independent evaluation of both acute and community mental health services in Roscommon and Galway.

  Meanwhile Roscommon Couny Council is to write to the acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar and the Health Service Executive over the mental health situation locally. 

  The service is in disarray in the county, said Fianna Fáil councillor Rachel Doherty, in a stinging attack at a recent council meeting.

  She proposed that the local authority write to Minister Varadkar “absolutely deploring” the fact that €12 million was being taken from the national mental health budget this year to be diverted to other services.

  “A crisis has been ongoing in mental health services in Co. Roscommon since the closure of the 22-bed unit in Ballinasloe…also the threatened closure of the psychiatric unit here in Roscommon town,” Cllr. Doherty added.

  She said that there were also staff shortages.

  An independent review of mental health services in Co. Roscommon was commissioned last August, arising in part from incidents of alleged ‘sexual contact’ at Knockroe House in Castlerea.

  The review was originally due to be complete within three months but, over eight months later, it has still not been published.

  Cllr. Doherty said that the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association, families and service users deserved to know the outcome of the report at this stage.