"Deteriorating Mental Health Treatment at St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview Needs to be URGENTLY Addressed" – Mairead Tóibín
The Aontú candidate in the upcoming by-election in Dublin Bay South, Mairead Tóibín has raised concerns about what she describes as an "alarming" situation arising from the deteriorating state of mental health services at St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview, which she says needs to be addressed urgently.
Ms Tóibín said: “Mental Health Services is an issue that there is plenty of talk about and glitzy social media campaigns around, but still lacks the resources and a functioning system to care for those in need. Yet another situation underscoring this seemingly eternal truth is the current spate of horror stories coming from those seeking mental health treatment at St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview.”
“One father I spoke to described the harrowing ordeal he had trying to get treatment for his son who has a serious mental illness. The son’s community nurse had told them in the event of any issues to go to St Vincent’s Hospital. Lockdown had a damaging effect upon his mental health, with remote appointments failing to meet his needs. The father opted to take his son to St Vincent’s as he had seen the doctor there in the past. When they got out of the taxi, they were told the doctor could not see them as they had stopped offering those services, and they would have to go to the Mater. After being left for hours sitting in the A&E at the Mater, the psychiatric doctor was able to see this young man. He told them that they were so much more busy now due to the numbers being sent on by St Vincent’s. After examining the young man, the doctor then said he should be admitted for care – at St Vincent’s.
“14 hours after being turned away from St Vincent’s Fairview, he and his son arrived back at Vincent’s. 14 hours of intense stress for this man and his son. 14 hours of no sleep - a disaster for someone who is ill. Why torture people like this?Shockingly, this story is only one of many.”
Ms Tóibín continued: “People with mental health challenges are being failed by this ‘new’ system. These individuals are being bounced between hospitals in Dublin – only to end up where they should have been tens of hours after the fact. Furthermore, the effect of these stories is to deter those in need of help from seeking help, which can turn people towards self-destruction as several stories of mental health patients that did not get the treatment they needed at St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview indicate. There are serious questions to be answered here - who made this decision to stop assessments in St Vincents, and why did they do so?” concluded Ms Tóibín.
Mairead Tóibín previously worked in mental health and addiction services and currently works as a pharmacist in a nursing home. She is contesting the by-election on Thursday on behalf of the political party Aontú