The Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly has been called on to ensure that the recommendations in the external review into mental health services in County Roscommon are implemented without delay.
Deputy Eugene Murphy was speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday under Topical Issues when he highlighted the fact that over €17 million was returned to the HSE by Roscommon Mental Health Services at a time when mental health services in County Roscommon were crying out for funding.
“The Minister informed me that he is due to visit County Roscommon next Monday to meet Tony Canavan, the Chief Officer of the CHO2. I would urge Minister Daly to implement the 27 recommendations of this review as soon as possible and overhaul the services in Roscommon as well as making sure this is not replicated in other areas across the country. I don’t want to be back in the Dáil chamber in six or nine months’ time talking about more tragedies – we need the funding to be put back into the mental health services in County Roscommon,” said Deputy Murphy.
Deputy Murphy said that the external review into mental health services in County Roscommon painted a damning indictment of a service in crisis mode.
“This is a service where a ‘culture of blame, secrecy and negativity’ abounds. The review highlighted the fact that despite trying to implement the changes required in a Vision for Change the Roscommon mental health services had returned over €17 million euro to the HSE in funding between 2012 and 2014.
“It is absolutely shocking to learn that in 2012 a sum of €4.57 million funding was returned to the HSE while in 2013 a sum of €6.91m was returned and in 2014 some €6.19m was returned- and all of this funding was returned at a time when mental health services in County Roscommon were crying out for funding.
“Leadership was found to be ineffective and there was a ‘disproportionate focus’ on ‘achieving budgetary savings at the cost of an adequately staffed and safe service.’- To put it simply they were more interested in saving money than putting a focus on patient care and safety and it is outrageous,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD urged Minister Daly to implement the 27 key recommendations in the external review of mental health services in County Roscommon without delay.