Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Order of Business
A constituent of mine, a 14 year old girl who I will refer to as Aoife, is languishing in South Tipperary General Hospital. This is her ninth week waiting for a bed in a special adolescent unit in Cork or anywhere. There are up to six cases like this, I believe, in South Tipperary General Hospital, not only blocking the beds but failing desperately. In early January, she was admitted to the paediatric ward and in early February was admitted again. She has been there ever since and is on 24-hour watch for the last nine weeks. The long wait is taking its toll on her and, indeed, her family.
Nine weeks is a long time for a 14 year old, as the Taoiseach knows, especially when she is receiving little treatment to help her cope or understand her deep and profound sense of despair. The three-day programme that she attends gives her a little help but she needs individual targeted treatment.
Her family life is hugely affected. The mother has to sleep in the hospital with her as does the father sometimes, and the other children must be attended to as well. This is a crisis in Clonmel and Tipperary, where we do not have a single mental health bed.