BY Eoin Kelleher
ST MICHAEL’S Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel is to finally close its doors this month under a new plan to treat patients in their own homes, following a statement from the HSE this week.
On Friday, the HSE South outlined the final phase of the major change programme underway in Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary Mental Health Services.
A HSE spokesperson said: “In implementing this major change programme across the extended catchment area (ECA) of Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary, in line with A Vision for Change, significant progress has already been achieved including the; continued move away from the old model of institutional care; enhancement and development of community based services; separation of North and South Tipperary acute inpatient mental health services and; development of appropriate acute day services in South Tipperary (day hospitals, crisis house) and acute inpatient services in St Luke’s General Hospital Kilkenny.”
Outlining the final phase of the change programme in the area, as agreed with the Minister of State, the Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission (MHC), the HSE South reiterated its commitment to ensuring that people who use the mental health services have easy access to appropriate care in the most appropriate setting.
“As has always been stated, all the necessary community based services to accommodate this change programme would be in place before the cessation of any existing service. To this end, the following key community based services are now in place;
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) across the ECA (including South Tipperary) were amalgamated and enhanced with additional multi-disciplinary staff
Two new Acute Day Services (Day Hospitals) were opened in both Clonmel and Cashel. Existing Acute Day Services (Day Hospitals) in Carlow and Kilkenny have been enhanced, and are providing additional hours of service
Three Home Based Treatment Teams (HBTTs) across the area are operational following the redeployment of 21 nursing staff
The existing South Tipperary Community Mental Health Team (CMHT), Home Based Treatment Team and Acute Day Services (Day Hospital) will relocate to a new and permanent location in Clonmel in June 2012, facilitating the co-location and further enhancement of these services.
Six additional Allied Health Professionals have been appointed :
Crisis/Respite House – Edel Quinn House: Edel Quinn House in Clonmel has been refurbished and is ready for use. Once admissions to St Michael’s Acute Unit have ceased, the Crisis/Respite House will become operational as nine nursing staff will be redeployed from St. Michael’s to Edel Quinn House.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.