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HSE care of depressed father to undergo 'comprehensive review'

The Mental Health Commission has called for a review into the treatment that John Butler received in the months before he took the lives of his two daughters along with his own.

The HSE's care of John Butler is to be re-examined.
The HSE's care of John Butler is to be re-examined.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE MENTAL HEALTH Commission have called for the re-examination of the way in which the HSE dealt with John Butler, who later went on to take the lives of his two daughters along with his own.

The commission stated that the review would be carried out with the involvement of the wife and mother of the deceased, Una Butler.

The move follows last month’s meeting between Butler and both the inspector of mental health services and the chief executive of the Mental Health Commission.

A spokesperson for the MHC said:

Subsequently the members of the Mental Health Commission (the Board) discussed the tragic case and asked the Chief Executive to request the National Director of Quality and Patient Safety in the HSE to carry out a comprehensive review with the involvement of Mrs Butler and to furnish a copy of the review report when completed to the Commission.

At the 2011 inquest into the deaths of the three family members, Butler said she believed that the partners and spouses of those suffering with mental illness should be involved in their treatment.

Her husband had received treatment for depression from November 2009 until August 2010 – three months before the three deaths in November 2010.

The re-examination of the case follows an internal HSE review which did not find any shortcoming in the service that had been provided.

The spokesperson for the MHC said that it recognised and wholly supported “the important role of family members in contributing to the recovery of persons experiencing mental health difficulties.”

Read: Inquest opens into death of Cork father who killed daughters >

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Paul Hyland

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