Monday 16 September 2019

Repeat of horror tragedies feared if mental health services axed

THE PSYCHIATRIC NURSES Association has warned that there could be a repeat of horrific events such as the Monageer and Clonroche deaths and the Sharon Grace tragedy if controversial changes to mental health services in County Wexford go ahead.

The HSE is proposing that all County Wexford patients requiring acute psychiatric admission will be sent to centres in Waterford and Wicklow following the imminent closure of acute admissions wards St. Senan's Hospital in Enniscorthy.

According to Seamus Murphy, Deputy General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, nursing staff on the ground are very concerned that the absence of a proper community mental health service in Wexford will put the most vulnerable people in our society at risk.

'Staff fear that there could well be a repeat of the tragedies that occurred on Kaats Strand, Clonroche or Monageer,' he said.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has written to the Mental Health Commission, warning of 'serious adverse consequences' in the future if the decision goes ahead and calling for more time to allow appropriate alternative services to be developed.

Meanwhile, Wexford County Council has granted planning permission for the HSE to build two new units in the grounds of St. John's Hospital in the town of Enniscorthy.

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