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04th May 2017

16 year-old girl left on chair in adult psychiatric ward overnight

“The current crisis in mental health services in the South East cannot be allowed to continue.”

Concerns have been raised after it emerged that a teenage girl spent the night on a chair in the adult Acute Mental Health Unit at Waterford Regional Hospital.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said it was “extremely concerned” at the fact that the girl was admitted to the unit in the first.

“No child should be put in this situation,” said the PNA in a statement.

“This incident highlights at the most extreme the crisis in staffing, beds and community services in mental health services in the South East.”

The association said the incident was “not an isolated incident” and pointed to a lack of space at the hospital.

“Since January the unit has been over capacity on 17 occasions. This has led to patients being nursed in interview room.”

It also said there were currently 20 nursing staff vacancies there.

“The current crisis in mental health services in the SE cannot be allowed to continue.  PNA is demanding that the HSE put the resources and staffing in place that will guarantee a comprehensive mental health service that meets the needs of the Waterford region.”