The Minister for Mental Health is urging the nine psychiatrists in the Carlow-Kilkenny-South Tipperary Mental Health Services who have withdrawn confidence in the clinical management of the service to ‘re engage with the services’.
Since the end of 2012, the psychiatrists have refused to take part in HSE clinical governance meetings as they believe the system ‘isn’t safe’.
“Clearly there are problems when nine psychiatrists disengage with the governance of the services. I have huge concern about the fact that nine psychiatrists are failing to engage. They must come back and re engage with the system. They are not sole traders, they are employed by the Department of Health on behalf of the people of Ireland,” she said.
She added that since the concerns were raised to her by the group two independent inspections were carried out which deemed that there was a ‘good governance structure’.
A report published by the Inspectorate of Mental Health Service is also recommending that participants in the delivery of the mental service should resolve issues surrounding governance in the interest of service users.
The report states that since the development of an intergrated structure for the Kilkenny area there were ‘difficulties in it’s operation due to their reluctance to engage in the process by the consultant of psychiatrist group.
The Catchment Team Report for 2013 revealed that the number of health and social care professionals was less than in 2008 and that there was only one psychologist in the general adult service.
The Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s is now the admission unit for residents of South Tipperary since the closure of St Michael’s Unit in Clonmel in 2012.
The report states that it was clear that there was ‘dissatisfaction by the consultant group with governance of the catchment area and this was affecting their participation in these structures.
14 people have committed suicide while under the care of the services in the past 18 months.