Admissions suspended and safety concerns as a result of staff shortages

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Tues, 18 th June) called on the Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch to intervene to address the serious deterioration in the provision of psychiatric services in Roscommon.

The PNA said all admissions to Roscommon Acute Psychiatric Services were suspended last weekend as the staffing crisis forced a further cutback in services.

‘The worsening situation at Roscommon as a result of the staffing crisis in the unit led to the decision to suspend all admissions over the weekend. This is a further deterioration in the psychiatric services available to the region and further evidence that the services are in free-fall,' said Noel Giblin PNA National Secretary.

Mr. Giblin said :‘The reduction in the numbers of psychiatric nurses in the Unit from 111 in 2009 to just 58 in 2013, together with the lack of a developed community service is bringing services to breaking point. You cannot lose over 50 professional nursing staff from a vital service as has happened in Roscommon Psychiatric Services without it having a serious impact on those services. There is growing concern for the safety of patients and staff in the present situation and we have experienced a number of assaults recently with the Gardaí having to be called to the Unit.

Up to 100 service users, their families, public representatives and members of staff at Roscommon Hospital Mental Health Unit attended a packed public meeting in Roscommon last Thursday to voice their concerns on the crisis.

Mr Giblin said there is growing anger and frustration across the community with the inadequate services. As well as the crisis in the Acute Unit, community services are undeveloped and inadequate with community staff now being redeployed to fill gaps in the Acute Unit staffing. Roscommon has -

  • Just 4 Community Psychiatric Nurses for all of Roscommon

  • No Suicide Prevent Team.

  • 1 addiction counsellor

  • No Community Crisis team

  • No Community Rehabilitative Team

  • No Community Older People Team

  • No Community Intellectual Disability Team

  • No Cognitive Behavioural Therapy service.

Noel Giblin said it is time for Minister Lynch to act.

‘ Service users are being left without day services and vital community supports, which will put even further pressure on the acute psychiatric services locally. Staff must be recruited into the Roscommon services immediately and we are calling on Minister Lynch to demand that action is taken to ensure that the people in Roscommon have access to properly staffed and resourced psychiatric services that they can have confidence in.'

Media Contact : Noel Giblin PNA National Secretary 086-3039424 / Derek Cunningham 086-2430535

PNA  National Secretary Noel Giblin, on RTE's Morning Ireland  (Weds. June 19th)  where he highlighted  concerns for patients and staff safety resulting from staff shortages at the psychiatric unit in Roscommon,20214376,20214376,flash,23 2

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