Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his dismay at confirmation from the HSE that it could be 6-7 years before a single additional residential psychiatric bed becomes available in County Tipperary. Deputy McGrath was speaking after a briefing by Minister of State for Older People and Mental Health, Jim Daly:
“The absolutely urgent case in favour of immediate intervention in County Tipperary was made crystal clear to the Minister and the HSE representatives who attended the meeting.
There was a clear recognition on all sides that the situation which currently exists simply cannot go on.
Indeed there was also recognition that in psychiatric bed terms, the South-East has gone from being “bed rich and resource poor to bed poor and resource poor.”
The idea of extending the occupancy level of the Glenville Crisis House in Clonmel was also raised.
However that would require further engagement with the Mental Health Commission because it would then move from being a ‘Crisis’ facility to a more standard psychiatric unit.
Outside of extending the Clonmel Crisis House, the appalling vista of having to wait at least 6-7 years for any kind of restructuring of psychiatric services in our health area, CHO 5, was confirmed by the HSE representatives.
That cannot be allowed to happen.
I will say, in fairness to Minister Daly, that he does seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation and seems genuinely intent on progressing it in a more positive direction.
The problem as always is that he seems totally hampered by both the utter slowness of the HSE and the continuing fallout from the disastrous decision to close St Michaels Unit in 2012,” concluded Deputy McGrath.