Local Minister Denis Naughten has been informed by the HSE that it expects to be in a position to publish the independent review into the Roscommon mental health services in the coming weeks.
Deputy Naughten has consistently raised serious concerns regarding the operation of the local mental health services.
Denis Naughten made a submission to the Chairman of the review team Mr. Brendan Mullen, who also sought written submissions from those who used the service or those who support them.
In his submission, Minister Naughten sought a fully independent evaluation of both acute and community mental health services in both County Roscommon and County Galway.
Denis Naughten stated: “The services in both counties are intrinsically linked and patients, particularly acutely ill patients, were pushed from one county to the other with little regard for their care requirements.
“Decisions taken on the operation of the service in County Galway directly impacted upon the service in County Roscommon. Therefore, I do not believe that it is fair to assess the Roscommon service in isolation from the service in County Galway.”
He was also critical of the care of ‘forensic’ patients (patients who have interacted with the justice system) pointing out that such patients should not be accommodated in acute psychiatric inpatient facilities such as those in Roscommon Hospital and Galway University Hospital.
Minister Naughten added: “While some within the mental health services have been critical of my persistence on this issue, the fact is that the primary focus of any service should be on those who use it, and people deserve answers and assurances that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. For that I make absolutely no apology” stated Denis Naughten.