The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Friday, 22nd January) expressed serious concerns at the delayed and sporadic roll-out of the Covid -19 vaccine throughout the mental health and intellectual disability (ID) services.
Mr Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said there is growing concern by both staff and service users that they are not being sufficiently prioritised for vaccination and are not being communicated properly with on the scheduling of the vaccine delivery.
He said frontline mental health and intellectual disability staff and service users are among the most vulnerable to infection in the health services, yet they are not being prioritised and many of them are now feeling left behind in the current vaccination roll-out.
The PNA was delighted to collaborate with the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery and REACH RCSI and stage a play “A Face in the Crowd” on February 4th 2020.
This piece of theatre originated in Co Wexford supported by Wexford Mental Health Association and was created by local individuals for their community, and written by former psychiatric nurse Niall O’Muiri. Born out of the belief that through the telling of real stories of the lived experience of people with Mental Illness we become aware of the recovery process from mental health difficulties, this play provided the opportunity to unearth insights that may better inform our futures.
Thursday 26th November 2020 – The Annual Delegate Conference of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) – which is taking place online – has been told that despite growing demand at all levels for mental health services that the percentage of the overall health budget for mental health has actually decreased by 1%.
The conference also heard that up to 200 extra nurses will be required for the full opening of the new National Forensic Mental Health Services in Portrane , in North County Dublin next year.
Commenting on the overall percentage reduction in the mental health budget PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes told the Conference:
“This is outrageous and clearly highlights the lack of understanding of our politicians of the inadequacy of our current services or the extent of the growing demands for mental health services at every level.”
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Wednesday ,October 14th ) strongly criticised the Budget 2021 allocation for mental health services as totally inadequate to properly fund the Government’s Sharing the Vision mental health strategy or to meet the mounting level of demand for mental health services, much of which is resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said the Budget allocation of €50 million to mental health was in reality an extra €38 million with €12million to go to support existing levels of services.