Court again exposes Roscommon mental health crisis – Naughten

In Health by Denis Naughten

GOL_5827 (1)Denis Naughten TD has welcomed the comments by High Court Judge, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor, who described mental health services in County Roscommon as being in “a crisis situation”.

A review into allegations of sexual abuse and an alleged cover up at mental health facilities run by the HSE in Roscommon is currently being conducted.

The Court also head that the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland has notified the Gardaí about the withholding of information on offences against children and vulnerable persons.

The Judge said this “begged the question” about the failure of the HSE’s local management to notify Gardaí about such allegations.

The Judge noted that an interim report submitted during the case expresses an increasing concern that mental health services for the people of Roscommon are dysfunctional and carry unnecessary risk.

“It is clear that the evidence in this case shows that the rights of patients and staff have been blatantly ignored by the HSE when it failed to have these incidents fully investigated and to refer the matter to the Gardaí for a criminal investigation,” said Denis Naughten.

“At the time I raised these issues directly with Minister Varadkar on the floor of Dáil Éireann I called for an independent investigation into this very serious allegation, which is extremely concerning.

“Sadly, I had to bring this to the floor of Dáil Éireann because staff complaints were being ignored, and I was again ignored until the Health Minister was confronted live on the Week in Politics programme.

“I now hope that we will not only get to the truth of what has happened here, but that people are held accountable for their actions and the service is properly resourced to meet the needs of those who rely on our mental health services.

“These issues are symptomatic of a service that has been underfunded and a service which bizarrely saw the mental health services in Roscommon/Galway hand back €6.15m of its budget unspent last year. This was a whopping 1/10th of their total budget and as a result the budget was cut by a further €3.5m in 2015 which has placed more and more pressure on the mental health services locally,” claims Denis Naughten TD.