The Save our Acute Hospital Services Committee has expressed disappointment at the outcome of its High Court challenge to the closure by the HSE of the acute inpatient psychiatric service for South Tipperary.
The consequences of this decision will mean the loss of a vital health service to the County and patients will be forced to travel to Kilkenny to avail of a service which should be provided locally in accordance with the Vision for Change Policy.
It is the Committee’s view that the closure and transfer of acute inpatient psychiatric services to Kilkenny is wrong and unsafe and that the Kilkenny unit will be unable to accommodate the South Tipperary Service. On Monday of this week for instance, the 44 bed Kilkenny unit would have had to accommodate its own 32 patients plus the 27 patients at St. Michaels Unit in Clonmel.
The Committee will consider the legal position further when the written judgement becomes available.
The attempt to protect the services by legal action was taken with reluctance by the committee against the background of intransigence of the Health Service Executive and the failure of the Government parties, Fine Gael and Labour, to honour commitments given prior to the last general election, to retain the existing acute services at South Tipperary General Hospital.
The committee will be demanding that the Community based service will be fully resourced and provided as promised by the Health Service Executive.
This includes the provision of a purpose built Crisis house and community based teams led by Consultant Psychiatrists and fully staffed by Psychiatric Nurses, Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Junior Doctors.
The Committee would like to thank our legal team and particularly the people of South Tipperary for their support and wish to assure them that we will continue to act as a Watchdog for the protection and development of the Health Services in South Tipperary.
01 May 2012