Howlin says reducing beds at Waterford hospital is "unacceptable"

He said "the impact on patients in the region will be enormous."

Howlin says reducing beds at Waterford hospital is "unacceptable"

Labour leader Brendan Howling | File photo:

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has said that reducing Waterford's acute psychiatric units to only 6 beds would be completely "unacceptable"

The Mental Health Commission seek to reduce the current 14 bed Acute Psychiatric Unit in Waterford Regional Hospital to only six beds. 

In relation to the future of the Acute Psychiatric Unit servicing Counties Wexford and Waterford, Deputy Howlin said "the impact on patients in the region will be enormous."

In a statement released today Minister Howlin said "In 2010 following a closure order from the Mental Health Commission, St. Senan’s Psychiatric Unit, Enniscorthy, ceased operation. The service was transferred to a 14 bed Acute Unit in Waterford University Hospital and a sub-acute Unit there of 30 beds.

"Considerable concern has been voiced that the 14 bed Acute Unit which services all of County Waterford and much of County Wexford is wholly inadequate."

Mr Howlin continued by saying "After initially proposing to refuse to register the Waterford Unit as an approved centre, in effect shutting it down, the Mental Health Commission has now decided to reduce the maximum number of acute patients from 14 to 6.

"The already inadequate acute facilities where according to the Mental Health Commission "serious concerns remain as to the safety, health and wellbeing of residents”, are now to be further drastically reduced.

"It is understood that the HSE has until the 24th February (next Friday) to make further submissions to the Mental Health Commission.

"As of now the reduction in capacity with consequent implications for all psychiatric service users in Counties Waterford and Wexford will become operable on Wednesday 1st March, 2017."

Deputy Howlin finished by saying "This situation is entirely unacceptable to the people of both counties who demand immediate provision of appropriate psychiatric services for this region."