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Staffing and capacity issues hurting patients in mental health units - Pat Buckley TD

3 May, 2018 - by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that staffing problems and capacity issues are leading to deteriorating patient care in mental health units.

He was responding to news from the Mental Health Commission that a number of units had "critical and high risk" shortcomings in patient care.

Deputy Buckley said;

"We know that failures in recruitment and retention of staff are causing major problems but it is very distressing to hear the real effects of this on patients.

"High demand on services, coupled with a lack of full time staff is leading to problems which are highlighted in these cases with patients developing bed sores due to a lack of attention. 

"We know that our nurses and other staff work very hard but when they are over worked and wards are over filled with patients then problems will always arise and care will suffer.

"Waterford's St Otteran's Hospital was highlighted for criticism. This hospital now cares for patients from Wexford as well as their psychiatric hospital was closed.

"Carriag Mór centre in Cork was noted as having serious over crowding issues with 10 bed dorms and only one shower.

"These conditions are totally unacceptable. we cannot continue to ask patients to accept this or for nurses and doctors to work in these environments.

"They have trained to care for and treat people but their surroundings are working against them.

"This is a direct result of years of under funding, closures of units and beds and a failure to keep staff because of the poor conditions and pay they are asked to accept.

"The Minister needs to implement the recruitment and pay proposals of my party and the Committee on Mental Health so that we can begin to turn the tide on this issue which at the moment is only getting worse."

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