Hospital attack: staff’s worst fears realised

THE sad news of an assault on medical staff at a psychiatric day hospital in Limerick confirms fears staff have been expressing for many years that such an event was likely.

While serious attacks of this type are rare, it is essential nonetheless that measures are put in place to anticipate and defuse them. Clearly this has not been the case.

With the closure of long-stay psychiatric hospitals, it is now almost impossible to provide residential care for those most in need.

No one wishes to reinstate the era of mass confinement, yet those responsible for psychiatric services seem unable even to consider retaining residential units for those whose needs are greatest.

The idea that all this can done voluntarily — and in the so-called community milieu — is a very gloomy and ominous prospect indeed.

Meanwhile, this is little consolation to the staff of the St Anne’s unit in Limerick — part of a large psychiatric campus being closed down around them by the powers-that-be.

Sadly, this policy and those implementing it remain unchallenged.

What awful event will it take before someone in charge at government level wakes up.

Brendan Hayes

5 The Park

Huntsfield

Dooradoyle

Limerick

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