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Hopkins, Maura

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Senator Maura Hopkins

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Senator Maura Hopkins

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

Today I want to raise huge concerns that I and many people in County Roscommon have about an external report on mental health services in our county. That report was commissioned as a result of serious issues which existed in the safe and effective delivery of mental health services. The report was published three weeks ago. I have raised my concerns with the Minister of State with responsibility for mental health services, Deputy Jim Daly, and also with the Minister, Deputy Harris, but I will make a number of points.
There are 27 recommendations in this report. There are no timelines for implementation. We have had serious issues with regard to accountability. Almost €17 million has been returned to the HSE over a period of three years. That cannot happen again. We need to change the culture within mental health services. We need to ensure we learn from the mistakes of the past. We need to ensure that people who have to use the mental health services, their families and the wider public have confidence and trust in using those services which they need at very difficult times. However, we do not currently have that confidence.
From a further meeting that I had this morning with the chief health officer, Mr. Tony Canavan, I understand he has stated that there are a number of recommendations currently being implemented, particularly with regard to management engaging properly with staff, but there are huge communication difficulties, teamwork difficulties and trust difficulties within the mental health service in Roscommon and there needs to be close monitoring in terms of the implementation of these recommendations. We need strong leadership at every level, from Government right down to staff members, to ensure we deliver a better service for the people who need it. I will continue to raise the issue until we see improvements in those services.