Fianna Fáil has called on the Government to commit to an early Dáil debate on the escalating crisis in Dublin’s psychiatric services.

It follows the resignation of Beaumont Hospital’s Clinical Director, Professor Shane O’Neill, over grave concerns about the unsafe treatment of patients with mental health difficulties.

Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Mental Health, Colm Keaveney TD, is seeking to raise the matter at the first possible opportunity when the Dáil resumes next week.

“The Government’s silence on what is clearly a crisis in Dublin psychiatric services is deafening. Having ignored warnings from senior clinicians for months, the situation has now got so severe that the Clinical Director of one of the largest acute hospitals in the country has felt he has no option but to resign. What more evidence do Ministers Reilly and Lynch need to prove that this requires immediate Government intervention?” said Deputy Keaveney.

“Ministers Reilly and Lynch have allowed this to spiral out of control by failing to fill additional community mental health posts as promised, and dismissing the repeated concerns of frontline medical professionals over the past year. We are now in a situation where 38% of the community mental health posts that should have been in place last year are still vacant. Specialised psychiatric units are being shut down. Patients with serious psychiatric problems are being sent to other hospitals where they are forced to wait on trolleys – sometimes overnight in Emergency Departments – without specialised care.

“What will it take for the Government to realise that this is putting lives at risk? I am calling on Minister Reilly or Minister of State Kathleen Lynch to come before the Dáil at the earliest opportunity this week and explain why they ignored the concerns of senior clinicians for so long and what the intend to do to address the crisis in our psychiatric services.”