Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, Colm Keaveney TD, has called for a full audit of all deaths and serious incidents that have occurred at the state’s psychiatric facilities.
Deputy Keaveney was speaking after 13 mental health specialists said they had no confidence in the clinical management of the service.
“Since 2012 alone there have been 13 suicides and 4 serious incidents involving patients at the Carlow/Kilkenny/ South Tipperary mental health facilities. Minister Kathleen Lynch says she cannot explain how these figures are so tragically high.
“We need a full audit of every death by suicide, attempted suicide and serious incident of self-harm that has occurred over the last 3 years. We need to get to the bottom of why patients are dying while in care.
“Mandatory reporting guidelines for deaths and serious incidents have not been followed, this is unacceptable and deserves immediate attention.
“I raised this issue with Minister Kathleen Lynch in May and she acknowledged that the statutory requirements were not being adhered to. What has the Minister done in the meantime to address the problem? Minister Lynch must come to the Dáil this week and explain why, it seems, that there has been no urgency in dealing this.
“We are also awaiting the publication of the most recent progress report on the implementation of ‘A Vision for Change’, it was due to be published in January but six months later we still have nothing.
“There seems to be a general malaise and complacency about this serious issue. We cannot allow standards to slip in relation to something as serious as suicide and self-harm. Minister Lynch must show leadership here and ensure the highest possible standards are being followed.”