The failure of St. Lukes Hospital Clonmel to ensure the safety and welfare of residents and to implement the recommendations of the 2004 report regarding injuries including fractures is a serious indictment of the mental health service provision in the hospital, according to Fine Gael Spokesperson on Mental Health, Dan Neville TD.
“The care of frail and potentially aggressive residents inevitably increased the risk of injury.
“The fact that senior managers and clinicians did not consider the report until a year after issuing and then failed to initiate appropriate actions to address the shortcomings highlights a culture where patients were not at the centre of management systems.
“Patients and their families should feel safe and the fact that only one of the 19 injuries uncovered in September 2004 was witnessed by the staff is extremely concerning and the failure to refer this to the Gardai smacks of a cover up. The risk of sustaining a fracture in St. Luke’s hospital was between two and three times that of other local psychiatric hospitals which highlights the seriousness of the level of injury to patients.
“The welfare of the patients continues to be of concern and will only be satisfied by the closure of the hospital and the transfer of patients to modern hospital conditions.”