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Reports that mental health service plans are 30 years old are "not new"

Kathleen Lynch says that it has been known for some time that mental health services were using a 1984 plan.

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THE MINISTER WITH responsibility for mental health says that reports that mental health services in Roscommon are operating under a 30-year-old national strategy “are not new”.

Kathleen Lynch was speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning about mental health provision in the Galway Roscommon areas after reports emerged over the weekend about the services.

A report by the expert review group, services in the areas are using a 30-year-old national strategy as their guidelines, not the current document.

However, Lynch told the show that the report was known.

“When this report was commissioned 18 months ago, the people in Galway/Rscommon knew that there were changes that needed to be made.

“We’ve had this conversation numerous times in relation to St Brigid’s in Ballinasloe and all that we’re seeing from this report is not new, it was known.”

Lynch added that it was necessary to “frame” the discussion around what changes needed to be implemented.

She added that many of these changes have already been made in relation to rehabilitation services in the area.

“The other issue that you’ll see is that there are 58 psychiatric hostels. What the [strategic plan] says it that you need around nine hostels for a population that size.

“We will have to be very sensitive about how we move to that.”

Lynch said that Ireland needs to get to a 24-hour coverage system and said that there is “always someone available” in emergency mental health cases.

Read: More than a dozen children admitted as involuntary patients in 2013

Read: HSE doubles amount of admission officers for mental health patients

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