Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin for South Kildare welcomes the announcement of a €5.5m investment in psychiatric services at Lakeview Unit in Naas Hospital. Minister of State for Mental Health, Helen McEntee, TD responded to Deputy O’Loughlin’s  question raised yesterday  during Topical Issues, with the FF TD having raised the low investment in mental health service in Co Kildare many times in the Dáil this year.

“I welcome the confirmation of this vital spend in upgrading and improving the services for staff and patients at Lakeview in Naas Hospital” said Deputy O’Loughlin. “The unit at Naas needed serious upgrading and refurbishment. Mixed units there were not conducive to providing best care for patients – for example, say women suffering with post-natal depression who were likely sharing a ward with persons presenting with acute psychiatric conditions, eating disorders, etc.”

Deputy O’Loughlin added that staff morale was similarly low working in such an environment with staff having a high burn out rate.

“The design team will now be appointed to commence construction in 2017 with completion expected in 2019.  An additional 8 beds will be delivered along with providing a high Observation Unit to alleviate existing service pressures. The Minister has also agreed to look at the potential of increasing places in a high support hostel – at the moment, there are only 27 such places provided whereas we require 60 places for Kildare and West Wicklow”.

The South Kildare TD further added that funding has also been approved to recruit staff to populate three community based mental health personnel for the Kildare & West Wicklow area. “More patients will be seen at a lower level of complexity and this will reduce the requirements of admissions to Lakeview Unit”.