Most patients seeking in-patient mental health care are admitted on same day, Health Forum is told

Most patients requiring in-patient mental health care are admitted to the acute adult mental health unit in Galway on the day they “need to be admitted”, HSE West management confirmed this week.

Breda Crehan-Roche, the chief officer of Community Healthcare West, was addressing a meeting of the local health authority’s regional health forum at Merlin Park Hospital on Tuesday.

Replying to a question from Tuam county councillor and the vice-chairperson of the forum, Donagh Killilea, she outlined that the acute adult mental health unit in Galway has 50 beds.

The Fianna Fail councillor had asked her to confirm the number of acute beds in the local mental health service as well as what plans were in place for increased capacity. He also wanted to know the current waiting time for acute beds for both mental health service users and older persons’ mental health services.

Ms Crehan-Roche stated that the contingency plans for increased capacity were as follows:-

• Neighbouring hospitals accept patients if the local facility is at full capacity

• Senior clinical staff are available seven days a week to review patients who may be fit for discharge or periods of leave to create capacity

• As a last resort, patients wait in the hospital’s emergency department until a bed becomes available

• Galway/Roscommon mental health services continue to pursue funding for a new approved centre in Roscommon to meet the needs of the population in the future.

She added that waiting times for in-patient admissions depend on a variety of factors which change day to day, the most important being the level of demand for services on a specific day.

“The vast majority of patients are admitted to the acute adult mental health unit on the day they need to be admitted,” she concluded.


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