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The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said  today (Weds. 21st Oct. ) the closure of only remaining  mental health day service facility in Ballymun, North Dublin  could seriously impact on the continuity of care for clients of the services, and is counter to the objectives of the  Governments' ‘Vision for Change' mental health strategy to provide accessible services for people with mental illness. 

Services in the Tus Nua day facility in Ballymun were reduced from five days a week to three last November, but will now be closed completely with day care services for the area being moved to the North Circular Road. 

PNA General Secretary Designate, Peter Hughes, said the decision by the HSE to close the Ballymun facility will have serious impact on the provision of mental health services in the area.

‘The Ballymun centre is one of three including Drumcondra and Clontarf, which the HSE is closing and centralising services at the day centre in North Circular Road.  This will require two bus journeys  for clients in Ballymun to get to the new service and while the HSE say they will provide transport by minibus they have given no guarantee that this transport will be available in the long term.  Easy access is vital to ensure that the 19 clients currently attending Ballymun continue to use the mental health services.'

‘The closure of Tus Nua will undermine the mental health services available to the community in Ballymun which are already well below those recommended in ‘Vision for Charge' for a population of its size. While PNA recognises the need to move from the present facility there is ample alternative accommodation in Ballymun in which to carry on the work of Tus Nua. Instead the services are being moved out of the area and the alternative will not cater for the needs of community in the Ballymun catchment area.'

Concluding Mr Hughes said: ‘This move flies in the face of the ‘Vision for Change ‘mental health strategy which includes a commitment to provide “accessible, community based specialist services for people with mental illness”. PNA is calling on the HSE to defer the closure of Tus Nua until the services it currently operates can be relocated to alternative accommodation within the Ballymun area.'

Media Contacts:  Peter Hughes 087- 2103514/ Derek Cunningham 086-2430535