Limerick TD seeks meeting with hospital over mental health care

Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin

LIMERICK Green Party TD Brian Leddin is to seek a meeting with management at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) after speaking with patients who are dissatisfied with the level of mental health care they received.

He also intends to press the issue of funding for mental health services with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

Deputy Leddin has met with Brian Hayes, a man whose visit to the emergency department after contemplating suicide was the subject of a recent article in the Limerick Post, and who has become the focus of a social media campaign for more resources for people with mental health emergencies.

Deputy Leddin told the Limerick Post: “People who present to UHL for mental health reasons should receive the highest standards of care possible.

“I have been made aware of situations where it does not appear that this level of care has been provided. This may be due to organisational and funding issues. I have written to hospital management to seek a meeting in order to learn more, and to see hoe I can help.”

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He pointed out that the level of funding for mental health services in Ireland is lagging behind what is recommended by both the World Health Organisation and Sláintecare.

“The World Health Organisation recommendation is that 12 per cent of the healthcare budget be spent on mental health services. Sláintecare recommends ten per cent, while the UK spends 13 per cent. In Ireland it is currently around five per cent.

“This is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed and I will press this issue with the Minister for Health,” Deputy Leddin concluded.