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05 Jul 2022

Dundalk TD raises inadequate mental health services in Louth

Dundalk TD raises inadequate mental health services in Louth

Ruairí Ó Murchú

The issue of inadequate mental health services in Louth has been raised again in the Dáil by Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú.

The Sinn Féin TD raised the problems of the day hospital services for mental health in Navan.

Deputy Ó Murchú said:

“The fact is that we did not have the same pressure then in Meath as those on the services at the department of psychiatry in Crosslanes, in Drogheda, which is under severe pressure.

“Louth and Meath have very low provision of beds. I am led to believe that it is around 14.2 beds per 100,000 people. The State average is in the twenties and the EUROSTAT average in 2018 was 34 beds per hundred thousand.

“It is very far from the number in Germany which is 128 beds per 100,000 or in Belgium at 135 beds per 100,000 people. We do not have the service that is required.”

The Dundalk TD said he had ‘particular issues’ around the protocols and resources for the Drogheda department of psychiatry at Crosslanes.

In response, Minister of State at the Department of Health, Mary Butler, said:

“On bed capacity, we are currently carrying out a review of bed capacity throughout the whole country.

“Some 25% of our bed capacity is sourced from the private sector. This is never included in the figures that are used, which only show the public bed capacity.

“When this review is finalised it will provide great data for me to be able to see all over the country where there are issues’.

In reply to her, Deputy Ó Murchú said:

“We will all be very interested in the review around the bed capacity and where those weaknesses are that need to be addressed.

“There is a need for the Minister of State to take a look to ensure that the plan is for the day hospital to be provided with a sufficient amount of space to offer the services that are required, and so it means that we deal with the community care piece.

“We are also looking for day hospital services in Dundalk and Drogheda.

“This would mean we could have community capacity and it can alleviate the pressure on the acute hospitals, which we all accept are under pressure,” he concluded.

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