Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, James Browne, has said the number of vacant posts in psychiatric nursing is just one example of the many failings the Government has presided over in Mental Health.

Deputy Browne was commenting as figures provided to Fianna Fáil show that there were some 887 posts in to be filled at the end of November 2019.

He said, “When you consider that the total number of psychiatric nurses in the HSE is 4,765, to have almost 20 per cent of the posts in the recruitment process is quite extraordinary.

“In their response to me the HSE say that 371 posts are at ‘recruitment complete stage’. I have to assume this is code for ‘we have a candidate for the job but current restrictions on recruitment means we don’t have the funding for the candidate to actually start the job’.

“It also means that the remaining 516 posts are nowhere near being filled. Mental health services have been consistently understaffed for some time now. I recently highlighted how overall some 2,400 mental health posts are required for the service envisaged by A Vision for Change.

“The fact that the Government is willing to let so many posts stay unfilled only underscores the lack of commitment from Fine Gael to really improving our mental health services,” concluded Deputy Browne.