Waterford TD calls for answers over damning mental health report
Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford Mary Butler says Fine Gael is failing people with mental health as it continues to mismanage services.
Her comments follow the publication of a report from the Mental Health Commission which found that the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospital had a 57% compliance rate this year.
The report outlined serious concerns with children being admitted to adult units, physical examinations, staffing issues and the use of physical restraint.
Deputy Butler said: “The findings of this report are extremely worrying and serve to highlight the very serious issues within our mental health services. Over the past three years compliance levels have fallen from 64% in 2017 to a record low of 57% this year.
“The report also raised issues with the fact that children were being admitted to an adult setting despite the fact that not all staff were trained in Children First. Children did not have access to age-appropriate advocacy services and facilities.
“The conditions at the unit also raised red flags – the report described two toilets as “malodourous” with overflowing bins, discarded cigarette butts and thick cobwebs.
“Anyone with a loved one in this unit will be rightly concerned. I have no doubt that the staff in the wards are doing all they can to give the best care and attention to the residents, however, severe staff shortages are undoubtedly having an impact.
“It’s time for the Minister with Responsibility for Mental Health to take ownership of the situation and explain why standards are slipping so drastically. The issues highlighted are simply not acceptable and must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” concluded Deputy Butler.