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Failures in services damaging mental health care - Pat Buckley TD

2 July, 2019 - by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that the current conditions in mental health services across the state are "hindering care for patients".

Teachta Buckley was speaking in support of a motion in response to the recent Mental Health Commission Report which found major problems with staffing, hygiene and maintenance in the approved mental health units.

The Cork East TD called on members to support a Sinn Féin amendment which addresses some of the issues affecting patient care.
Deputy Buckley said;
“I was not shocked at what was in the MHC report. It's findings are exactly what my work in mental health for many years has made me all too aware of.
"There is no dignity in a dirty, smelly, broken down ward. There is no dignity in a four-bed dorm with no privacy for adults in mental health distress.
"There is no dignity in a child being placed in an adult ward or worse still sleeping on a chair as has happened for lack of an appropriate bed.
"With no dignity comes no hope. In that indignity and hopelessness we find staff who have trained for years to dedicate their lives to care being let down by a system and a government quite frankly that undervalues them, over works them and doesn’t listen.
"Many things can impact your mental health negatively, our mental health services shouldn’t be one of them for patients, families or staff.”

Editors note:
The Sinn Féin Amendment would add the following to the demands of the original motion;

— the reinstatement of the post of National Director for Mental Health to provide accountability, transparency and strong national leadership for mental health;
— the development of an information system for mental health, starting with basic indicators so that outcomes can be tracked and monitored;
— a statutory footing for the right to a care plan;
— the publication, before the end of 2019, of a costed implementation plan for the provision of 24/7 CAMHS;
— no freeze on recruitment or overtime for psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists and other essential staff;
— an immediate commencement of the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2018 in whole or in part so that people’s basic rights are protected; and
— an immediate commencement of the sections of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, relating to Advance Healthcare Directives and the extension of
that right, through new legislation, to involuntary patients.

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