THE uncertainty surrounding the HSE’s plan to change mental health services in Tipperary “cannot be good for anyone”, Deputy Kathleen Lynch told media this week ahead of a crucial meeting today (October 5th).
Speaking at the launch of the new Acquired Brain Injury Ireland cards, (see pg 4 section 2), Deputy Lynch said people who had suffered even mild brain injuries in the past had been institutionalised. “That was of no benefit to either them, their communities, or their families.
People can recover from mental health issues. We’re looking a complete new vision for mental health services. We have a plan. It’s called ‘Vision For Change’. And we just need to press on with it.”
Deputy Lynch is meeting with government and healthcare officials in Dublin today to finalise the implementation of the ‘Vision for Change’ plan for mental health services in the South East.
About half of the 49 beds in St Michael’s Acute Psychiatric Hospital in Clonmel are reserved for patients from North Tipp. The plans will see more home-based treatment, day hospitals in Clonmel and Cashel and an eight-bed ‘crisis house’, which will house patients who would otherwise have been admitted to hospital, for up to 72 hours.
From the end of October, families from the wider Thurles area will have to travel to Ennis in Co Clare to visit relatives in acute care.
Deputy Lynch said families in Wexford had “exactly the same concerns.
They now have to go to an acute unit to Waterford. And it concerned me as well, because I don’t want to set up a service that’s not going to work.
“They have reduced the number of people who are in need of acute admission. They have a service there that everybody is telling me is working extraordinarily well. And everyone is happy.”
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star