Saturday 25 November 2017

System faces overhaul after psychiatric hospital deaths

Nine consultants withdrew from managerial responsibilities. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Nine consultants withdrew from managerial responsibilities. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Brian Byrne

HEALTH chiefs have called for an overhaul of how doctors respond to fatalities at psychiatric hospitals as it emerged that a further four people have died at services in the south-east within the past year.

The number of deaths at mental health services in Carlow-Kilkenny/South Tipperary now totals at least 13 since August 2011 and includes three suicides of in-patients by the same means.

The deaths resulted in nine consultants withdrawing from managerial responsibilities from November 2012, after they claimed they felt "devalued" and "ignored" in their attempts to raise concerns with the HSE.

An unpublished review by the HSE has found their withdrawals were described as "a risk to patients and service users" in the service's risk register, but were not discussed at subsequent meetings about risk management.

The review, the details of which were revealed on RTE Radio 1's 'This Week' yesterday, recommends the setting up of a Quality and Safety Executive Committee (QSEC) to replace the risk-management structures currently in place.

Irish Independent

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