Breaking: Three Tipp teens on suicide watch languish in hope of psychiatric care

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

STGH

South Tipperary General Hospital where three teens on suicide watch are awaiting psychiatric care.

The youths are waiting in the paediatric ward of South Tipperary General Hospital while the await referral to CUH

Three, seriously at-risk, Tipperary adolescents are currently being catered for in the paediatric section of South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel because there is no place in all of Ireland to treat them.
The situation is so dire that one heartbroken mother is sleeping by her child's bed in order to ensure that the patient does not self harm.
This totaly distressing and shameful situation has been highlighted by Deputy Jackie Cahill this week who pointed out that there is no prospects of the three patients of 15 and 16 years af age, being transferred to Cork for treatment, or anywhere else for that matter.
“I am disgusted with how these three adolescents are being treated by the HSE, and it cannot go on any longer,” a distressed Deputy Cahill told The Tipperary Star.
“At present, three of the six paediatric beds at STGH are being filled by adolescents in need of acute psychiatric care.
“One patient has been in the hospital since the first week of February. It’s now the second week of April – eight weeks have passed and that patient’s family are at their wits end.
“This is all happening as the general public have been asked to stay away from the Emergency Department at the hospital due to chronic overcrowding,” he said.


Fianna Fail Deputy Jackie Cahill

Deputy Cahill pointed out that the reason for the delay is clear - the adolescent psychiatric unit at Cork University Hospital is under staffed and cannot take any more patients.
“It’s wholly unfair on these three patients, their families and the staff at the Paediatric Unit at South Tipperary General Hospital to be left in this situation.
“First of all, three beds that are needed for other paediatric patients are being used, and the staff are not trained to deal with the acute psychiatric issues these patients are suffering from.
“One patient is under constant 24 hour suicide watch. They need to get the psychiatric treatment they desperately require at the appropriate unit at CUH.
“The Government must start providing locally based psychiatric services in Tipperary. Adults are either sent to Kilkenny or Ennis, and children and adolescents are sent to Cork, but they don’t have the capacity to deal with the volumes involved.
“Minister Harris needs to intervene now,” concluded Deputy Cahill.