Issues at UK Mental Health facility highlights need for appropriate resources in Ireland – Browne

Published on: 08 June 2019

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne says the issues identified at St. Andrews Mental Health Facility in Northampton, where Irish children and adolescents are sent for treatment, highlights the pressing need for more resources to treat them in Ireland.

Deputy Browne said, “The issues raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are very serious. Vulnerable young people, who are placed in the care of any facility, need to be treated with compassion. However, the findings outlined by the CQC inspectors are extremely worrying with reports of children being held in isolation rooms without bedding or chairs.

“We cannot expect to see any improvements in a child or teenager’s mental health if they are not being treated with dignity and respect in a safe and comfortable setting.

“I have previously raised concerns about the practice of sending young people abroad for mental health services, which should be available in our own country, particularly with regard to teenagers suffering with severe eating disorders. There are currently only three beds in Ireland to cater for young people with eating disorders, despite the fact that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue.

“The situation in St. Andrews further underlines the need for the Irish mental health service to be given the staff and resources needed to ensure that we can look after the most vulnerable here in Ireland”, concluded Deputy Browne.

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