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Mental health services in freefall

20% of psychiatric nurses have retired.

PNA General Secretary Des Kavanagh
Image: Youtube

THE PSYCHIATRIC NURSES’ ASSOCIATION (PNA) claims that mental health services in Ireland are in ‘freefall’ with 20% of nurses retiring from the HSE over the past two years.

The association says that almost 600 nurses retires last year many due to stress and assaults from patients. The association also says that a further 250 are set to retire next year.

PNA General Secretary Des Kavanagh said that levels of violence are unprecedented. ‘Bouncers’ and security firms were being hired to provide ‘secure care’ due to the lack of nurse.

Kavanagh told RTE that gardaí in riot year were called to a number of hospitals last year. Only last week he said a patient in Tallaght set fire to the unit, another patient broke through the ceiling in a unit and wrapped himself in electrical wire.

Kavangh said there are now a large number of vacancies in the HSE. Kavanagh said that an exemption in the recruitment moratorium in the HSE only allows for 100 new nurses to be hired despite the large exodus.

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Daire Hickey

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