TD Dail patient unable to gain access to out-of-hours mental health services

It’s been claimed in the Dail that a patient having a severe psychotic episode was unable to gain access to the necessary out-of-hours mental health services in Sligo.

The issue was raised this week by Sligo Leitrim Sinn Fein Deputy Martin Kenny during a topical issues debate.

He claims a constituent visited St. Columba’s out-of-hours service recently where he waited for two and a half hours before he saw a junior consultant and was then told he was okay to go home.

Deputy Martin Kenny says he was brought back to the service a number of days later by the gardai.

The Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health responded to Deputy Kenny’s claims.

Minister Jim Daly says while he can’t comment on individual cases it must be distressing to be in that position and says he is looking into the area of online psychiatry to alleviate staffing needs.