The long awaited report into Mental Health Services in County Roscommon published today reveals a total systems failure on many fronts and there are many unanswered questions that remain after it’s publication.
I asked today how many service users or their families were spoken to for this report and they could not give me that answer. It is worrying too that we are aware of anonymous letters being investigated and this is going on for over two years and there is nothing about that in this report. Apart from that there seems to have been a serious breakdown in relationships throughout the service. The unions may have some questions to answer from some of the material I read in the report as well.
The report is very worrying for the service user in Roscommon and not alone those people, what about the service users all around the country? and I would ask the question, is this the system that is in place elsewhere? Another aspect concerns the operation of day care centre’s. The report says that maybe these could revert to voluntary set ups. I would have a major worry about that because the patients get a good service from professionally trained people at the day-care centres. We must ensure that we do not take services away from people who need them.
In fairness to the HSE they have told us today that they will answer any further questions we have when we have digested the report in full. With respect to staff who were found to have engaged or perpetrated bad behaviour. I believe that the chain of command is gone. There are many ways to undermine someone in a situation like this but if people do something wrong then they should be disciplined.
It is also obvious that there is no proper IT system in place and that needs to be addressed. A new appraisal system is also needed for clinical staff and the Minister needs to move to put that in place as soon as possible. There was also an interim report due in 2015 and we have heard nothing about that- or I ask did it ever exist?
Finally, despite the fact that the budgets for mental health services have increased in recent years, the service available in this region certainly has not improved and I would be asking the question as to why that is the case. I welcome to publication of today’s report after so much delay and there are many many questions that it raises that must be answered.

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