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Crowe dismayed at lack of services for sixteen-year-old girl with behavioural problem

30 August, 2004

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe today expressed grave concern at the plight of a sixteen-year-old girl who has spent the past number of weeks in the adult psychiatric unit of Tallaght Hospital. The Dublin South West TD called for immediate support to be provided for the teenager as doctors prepared to discharge her from what he termed the "totally unsuitable adult psychiatric unit."

Deputy Crowe said, "This girl has serious behavioural problems which has resulted in her injuring herself and other members of her family. The family are at the wits end as they have come up against a brick wall in terms of getting treatment and support for her. They now find themselves in the heartbreaking situation of being forced to make a choice between allowing her home untreated and unsupported, with all the risks that that involves and leaving her in a totally unsuitable adult psychiatric unit.

"Having contacted the Department of Health and Children, Social Services, Community Care, Tallaght Hospital, her family doctor and many others I am dismayed that these agencies appear incapable of responding to the needs of this girl and her family. The State has a duty to care for and protect all the children of the nation and this child, like many similar cases, has been let down badly.

"That there is no place for this child to go is not an acceptable situation. If someone dies or is seriously injured due to the neglect of this child, who is responsible? The Government needs to take immediate action to address the severe lack of treatment and support services that are needed in this and similar cases." ENDS

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