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Industrial action at St. Ita’s, Portrane, a result of cuts & HSE mismanagement – Ellis

3 August, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West, Dessie Ellis, has expressed concern for mental health services in the North city and county as industrial action begins today (3 August) as a result of what he described as HSE mismanagement and the continuing cuts being imposed by the Fine Gael/Labour Government.

Deputy Ellis said:

“Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) at St. Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, today begin industrial action over the imminent closure of the male and female admissions units at the Hospital from 31 August and related issues.

“The HSE is required by the Mental Health Commission to close these units due to the failure to carry out essential refurbishment works to bring them up to the required standard. The HSE and Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, in reply to a Dáil Question from my colleague Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, have failed to set out what alternative facilities will be made available for admissions for acute mental healthcare in the densely populated region currently served by St. Ita’s.

“I am very concerned for mental health services in Dublin’s north city and county in this situation. It comes as a result of Government cutbacks and HSE mismanagement which have seen the required refurbishment at St. Ita’s stalled and the promised development of the acute admissions unit at Beaumont Hospital delayed for years. We are told by the HSE and the Minister that work on the Beaumont unit may begin later this year. But what happens in the meantime to patients who require acute in-patient mental healthcare?

“Health Minister James Reilly should intervene and require the HSE to respond to the invitation of the Labour Relations Commission to talks, an invitation accepted by the PNA but not by the HSE.” ENDS

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