Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne says a case being taken against the HSE under the Mental Health Act relating to issues at Department of Psychiatry in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny raises very serious issues about the standard of care being delivered in our mental health services.

The HSE today pleaded guilty to a number of charges relating to conditions at the Department of Psychiatry in St Luke’s Hospital at Kilkenny District Court.

Deputy Browne commented, “This case is clear evidence that our mental health system is not fit for purpose.  The families at the centre of this case have been badly failed by the health service and by this government and it is yet another indictment of just how broken the system is.

“Waiting lists for mental health services are completely unacceptable, staffing levels set out under A Vision for Change are well behind target, and now we have a service pleading guilty to a series of charges under the Mental Health Act.  This is nothing short of disgraceful.

“The case today must act as a wake-up call for this government.  We cannot continue to allow people with mental health problems languish on waiting lists or be subjected to neglectful practices.  The conditions outlined in court raise very serious concerns about the state of our mental health services and their ability to cope with the demands placed on them.

“People living in Ireland deserve so much better.  The government cannot continue to pay lip service to mental health issues without following up with tangible and targeted services.

“Fianna Fáil secured additional funding for mental health as part of the Confidence & Supply agreement – I am determined to ensure that that money is used to staff and resource services which are so badly needed right across the country”, concluded Browne.