Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane today attended a protest outside University Hospital Waterford. Deputy Cullinane joined the protest organised by the PNA and supprorted by local campaigners. He said the current conditions at the Adult Mental Unit at the hospital are unacceptable.
Speaking from the protest today, Deputy Cullinane said:
“The Minister for Health Simon Harris and the HSE have known for years about the abject conditions at Waterford psychiatric unit and it remains in a state of crisis despite repeated warnings and reports.
“Citizens were shocked by the photos that emerged of the intolerable conditions of the psychiatric unit in Waterford, of beds made from chairs while other patients sleep on floors.
“Shocked, but sadly not surprised.
“The mental health commission recently published a report on the unit, and found that residents’ general health needs were not monitored and assessed in line with their specific needs.
“It also found that physical examinations were inadequate, that residents did not have access to a supply of appropriate emergency personal clothing, and that the centre was not clean, hygienic and free from offensive odours.
“Words are one thing; we now have photographic evidence revealing a unit that is operating under conditions that would make a Victorian workhouse blush.
“The staff are not to blame here; they are operating under incredible stress and distress.
“Both the Minister and the HSE know that is about funding and resources.
“Yet, despite this, they refuse to do anything about it.
“I have constantly raised the level of care at the unit, and quite frankly at this stage I am sick to the teeth of the Minister’s excuses.
“What we need is not more tea and sympathy but action. We need more investment in primary and community mental health care to take pressure off the acute service.”