Sinn Féin’s Senator David Cullinane said it is clear the consultant psychiatrists in the Carlow, Kilkenny, and South Tipperary area have lost all confidence in mental health services in the region and in the clinical management of the service, which they believe is unsafe. Speaking in response to media reports highlighting the efforts of the psychiatrists to raise the issue with the HSE and the inadequacy of its response, Senator Cullinane said:
“The consultants first raised their concerns with the HSE as far back as November 2011 and they have done so repeatedly since.
“Eventually in June 2013 they wrote to Kathleen Lynch, the Minister with responsibility for Mental Health.
“The doctors again questioned the safety of governance in the service and said they felt devalued and ignored in their attempts to raise their concerns internally with the HSE Executive.
“Thus far both the Minister and the HSE have failed to address the consultants concerns.
“Sinn Féin is now calling for the Minister to come before the Dáil on this issue and to explain the repeated failure of the HSE to act.
“It is simply not acceptable that the consultants concerns around the clinical context of nine fatalities in the 14 months from August 2011 to January 2013remain virtually ignored.
“It is time for the Minister to intervene and to insist the HSE engage with the consultants in a constructive and open manner.
“We need a proper investigation of the incidents, the findings of which must be properly communicated and suitable reforms implemented.
“If a ‘Vision for Change’ is to mean anything then the Minister must act and compel the HSE to engage with the consultants.”