KCLR NewsNews & Sport

Emergency meeting about St Luke’s Department of Psychiatry described as “robust” and “productive”

People suffering from mental illness should not have to present themselves at the general Emergency Department locally.

Kilkenny Councillor Joe Malone says being able to go straight to the Department of Pyschiatry is one of a number of changes that need to be made in the mental health services here.

He was speaking following an emergency meeting between local councillors and the HSE to discuss the state of the DOP.

He’s told KCLR News it’s the first time he feels he’s had a productive meeting with the Health Service.

And Councillor Malone says he would like to have more gatherings like that:

“There has to be dialogue and the management will have to come out and start meeting the members. The councillors are being asked questions by the patients, by staff, and by family members and we’re not able to give the answers.

“There’s too much red tape involved in the HSE and other government bodies. They need to unzip that now and start giving answers to questions.”

He also says there’s a lot of work to be done:

“This report has damaged the HSE, both locally and nationally. It has. But if we can learn from it – and I’m all for these unannounced inspections. They say there’s one a year. There should be one every six months, or even every quarter until the mental health authorities are sure that everything is ok.

“And what happened in the DOP in St Luke’s can happen again. There’s no point in saying it can’t.”