The HSE is promising that there will not be a shortage of beds when in-patient mental health services are transferred from Clonmel to Kilkenny’s St Luke’s Hospital, as it says that community-based services will be in place before the transfer comes into effect.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) made the statement following a High Court decision in relation to St Michael’s Acute Mental Health Unit in Clonmel.
The case was taken by the Save our Acute Hospital Committee, who argued that the closure would be in breach of a 1996 agreement that stated that services would not be taken from South Tipp General or St Michael’s.
Now, the HSE says: “Following this ruling by Justice Nicholas Kearns, the HSE, in consultation with the Minister of State, the Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission, will now finalise plans for the cessation of admissions to St Michael’s Acute Mental Health Unit in Clonmel and the transfer of acute in-patient mental health services to the Department of Psychiatry, St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny.”
“As we have always stated, there will be sufficient flexibility around this date to ensure that all the appropriate community-based services will be in place before the cessation of any service,” the HSE said in a statement.
“The priority for the HSE South is to ensure the delivery of a first-class mental health service for people in Carlow/Kilkenny and South Tipperary by continuing to develop community and acute services in the region in line with ‘A Vision for Change’.”