The assessment of patients with acute psychiatric illness in hospital A&Es has been defended by Anne O'Connor, HSE National Director for Mental Health.
She was responding to revelations in yesterday's Irish Independent showing how some patients with severe mental illness have had to endure days on trolleys in Beaumont Hospital.
Ms O' Connor said it is important to ensure that people with acute psychiatric illness are safe and they receive the right level of care including physical examination.
However she added:"The challenge is to make sure they are seen by the right people."
A lack of inpatient beds for psychiatric patients in north Dublin is " a challenge," she conceded.
The HSE hopes to transfer some patients to community-based facilities to free up beds
Social Care Minister Kathleen Lynch said she only learned of the Beaumont situation from the media.
"There is no excuse for having people in A&E longer than they should be. I will be looking at it to see what action is to be taken," the minister said.