Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has said that the passing of a motion in the Dáil today which included important Sinn Féin amendments is a demand for action from the government. The motion which was a response to a recent Mental health Commission report calls on the government to make significant steps in the coming months to address major gaps in services and patients’ rights.
Deputy Buckley said:
“Thanks to the addition of Sinn Féin amendments, which gathered majority support in the Dáil today, this motion puts pressure on the Minister Jim Daly, the government, and the HSE to produce a real plan for addressing the many problems faced by people seeking care in the mental health services as well as staff who are not getting enough support.
“The Dáil must now hold the government to account in address the concerns raised today. We have to keep the pressure on and keep asking questions. There is too much work to be done to fix our broken mental health services to let this slip.
“Our amendments demanded the government reinstate the post of National Director for Mental Health, develop an information system for mental health services, provide a legal right to a care plan, publish a costed implementation plan for the provision of 24/7 adult and child services, commit to no freeze on recruitment or overtime for essential staff as well as advancing patients’ rights through health care directives and a new Mental Health Act.
“The government have already disappointed this week by announcing that heads of bill for a new Mental Health Act likely won’t be published until early next year. We need to push for a more open consultation and a collaborative approach to the development of this important legislation.”