Tuesday 19 June 2018

Sex probe at mental health facility finds big flaws

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Some staff in Roscommon mental health services "normalised" bad behaviour and others perpetrated it, a damning investigation sparked by allegations of improper sexual contacts has found.

The report was carried out following accusations of inappropriate conduct at a facility in the county.

There was a prime focus on cost-cutting and this resulted in significant delays in appointing posts, particularly when staff left. A recurring theme among interviewed staff was that when staffing issues were raised with senior management, nothing was done to address the underlying problem.

The review team said there was a serious issue with professional relationships among staff, which led to widespread friction and tensions, particularly between some senior managers and staff groupings.

The focus was on cost containment to the detriment of quality care, according to staff.

The review found allegations by a small number of staff of a malicious campaign of conspiracy by some of their colleagues during the inquiry process. Some staff objected to working with other team members.

The majority of staff felt frustrated, disillusioned and unsupported within the multidisciplinary team setting.

The report was carried out for the HSE by experts from the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. Commenting on the report, the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said it was a shocking indictment of management of the services.

"The review points out the impact on the delivery of services of a litany of fractious and broken relationships at management level.

"These hampered the effective delivery of services, but despite repeated warnings from PNA, this dysfunctional management was allowed to perpetuate by the HSE," it said.

Irish Independent

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