Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health Colm Keaveney TD has called on Minister Kathleen Lynch to urgently intervene in the ongoing stalemate between the HSE and nurses at the new psychiatric unit at Cork University Hospital. It comes following a decision by the Psychiatric Nurses Association to reject LRC proposals on staffing.
Deputy Keaveney commented, “We have reached an unbelievable unacceptable situation at Cork University Hospital whereby we have a much needed state of the art facility lying idle because of a row that should have been resolved months ago. I am appalled that Minister Lynch, who is a TD for the area, has allowed the matter deteriorate without any direct intervention.
“€15m has already been invested into this unit but it’s doors remain closed almost 5 months after completion. This Government promised a world class mental health system but what it is delivering is well below par. The laissez faire attitude adopted by Minister Lynch has led to a stalemate in the situation in Cork. Nurses there have been raising concerns about the proposed staffing levels well in advance of the proposed opening of the unit, but their voices fell on deaf ears. The result is that vulnerable patients in need of quality care are being treated in outdated units while a world class facility lies idle. All the while the numbers awaiting admission to the unit continues to grow and the existing unit is left struggling under the pressure.
“I am urging Minister Kathleen Lynch to intervene directly with nurses and management to bring an end to this stalemate. Patients are being compromised unnecessarily and there is an onus on the Minister to ensure that the highest quality care is afforded to them. That is not the case at the moment and must be addressed without delay”.