Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has said the deadline for the external review into the Roscommon mental health service has been missed yet again “which simply beggars belief”.
Commenting on the long awaited Roscommon Mental Health Service Report Eugene Murphy pointed out that the external review had commenced in August 2015 (which is over a year and a half ago) and he stressed that repeated delays in the delivery of the report were simply not acceptable. He noted that a new deadline of early March was initially given and then changed to the end of March.
Speaking on Friday he said “Today is the last day of March so once again this is another missed deadline, another broken promise- the people of Roscommon have waited long enough for this external review- I expect this independent report to be negative and highly critical of the services as it is clear mental health services in Roscommon are in a crisis mode but I don’t want to see this report being used as a beating stick to justify downgrading services- rather it should be used as proof for an upgrading of a service in crisis,” said Deputy Murphy.
“I understand it could still be a number of weeks before this external review is completed- we need to maintain the pressure on the Minister to deliver on this review as a matter of urgency,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD also said he was alarmed by the report which was released by the Mental Health Commission following an unannounced four-day visit to the psychiatric unit in Roscommon University in November which recorded a number of high-risk practices across various categories including premises, privacy and consent to treatment.
“It’s a damning report and alarming to see patients being left with little or no dignity having to keep their clothes in plastic bags due to a lack of storage space and there were also insufficient arrangements for personal space and privacy for the 22 residents present on the inspection dates.
“These patients were being treated like second class citizens – the locks on a number of toilets were broken and a single sheet of paper was used to obscure vision through a glass panel on the door of the high dependency unit. The handles on the wardrobes as well as bedside lockers were broken, which mean that residents had to wedge a pen or key along the side to open drawers.
“I am calling on the Minister for Health to ensure that the necessary funding is made available to ensure that the proper refurbishments are made to the resident spaces as soon as possible,” concluded Deputy Murphy.