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Varadkar's first year oversaw more chaos and crisis in mental health services - Pat Buckley TD

14 June, 2018 - by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that the experiences of a failing, inadequate mental health service described by patients and staff, is a damning indictment of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's first year in power.

Deputy Buckley said;

"Since taking power last year Leo Varadkar has continued to preside over a failing mental health service, which is increasingly not meeting the needs of patients.

"Children in particular are being put at risk. In recent months we have heard of the long waiting lists for treatment, the shortage of beds and staff in Child and Adolescent services, and the toll it is taking on young lives.

"Just yesterday we heard at Committee that three Consultant Psychologists in the South East are resigning their 'unsafe and untenable' positions. 

"A report from the Children's Ombudsman yesterday found whole regions that are without Out of Hours consultant cover for CAMHS.

"This means children in severe distress are going to wait and are in turn being put at risk.

"We remain way behind in delivering on the basic goals of service provision laid down in the Vision For Change.

"24/7 crisis services are years off, with no meaningful moves towards the first step of a seven day week community service model.

"Varadkar wants to talk about mental health but he has shown no interest in leading on the delivering of the services that staff, patients and their families are crying out for."

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