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HSE to meet with interest groups over 'mayhem' at Roscommon Hospital unit

Concerns have been raised about safety at the psychiatric care unit at the hospital following the recent death of a mother-of-two and a number of assaults on staff and patients.

Roscommon County Hospital
Roscommon County Hospital
Image: Google Street View

OFFICIALS FROM THE Health Service Executive are due to meet with the local health forum and TDs today over the ongoing issues at the psychiatric unit in Roscommon County Hospital.

A crisis at the hospital has been highlighted by the Psychiatric Nurses Association and local TDs in recent days after the death of a mother-of-two and a number of dangerous incidents including assaults on patients and staff.

Sinéad McPartland Brennan, a 38-year-old mother to twins, died recently following a tragic incident while in care. Her family have requested a full probe into the circumstance surrounding her death and believe the unit was understaffed when Sinéad took her own life.

In another case, the PNA claimed that ‘suicidal’ man was turned away from the unit which suspended all admissions last week. The association wants more staff at the ‘unsafe unit’ but denies claims that there are high levels of sick leave.

This was a claim made by the Taoiseach the Dáil this week when he told TDs: “I understand from the HSE that Roscommon Psychiatric Unit has experienced high levels of sick leave in recent weeks, and to compensate this acute psychiatric services are being run across Galway and Roscommon.

But the PNA claims just one nurse is on long-term sick leave and this was as a result of being assaulted in April.

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The HSE says that there are three nurses marked as absent on certified sick leave with a further three staff on maternity leave who have not been replaced.

Local TD Luke Ming Flanagan told TheJournal.ie this week that “this is not a secure unit” and warned that more incidents are likely if the “mayhem” at the hospital is not addressed soon.

Today’s meeting will likely address staffing levels with HSE seeking to provide assurances that there are adequate numbers of staff in the acute unit.

Read: The one Roscommon nurse out on sick leave was assaulted by patient, says PNA

Read: ‘Suicidal man’ turned away from Roscommon psychiatric unit

Read: Death of mum-of-two sparks calls for inquiry into Roscommon psychiatric care

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Hugh O'Connell

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