Revamped St Michael’s unit not necessarily up to required psychiatric standards

Photo from HSE

The Junior Minister for Mental Health has urged caution on any immediate prospect of the reopening of St Michael’s Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel.

Speaking following a meeting with Oireachtas members in Clonmel yesterday, Waterford TD Mary Butler said the provision of such acute beds would be reviewed under the ‘Sharing the Vision’ strategy.

It emerged recently that €700,000 has been spent on upgrade works at St Michael’s.

However, Minister Butler said that this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be brought up to code for psychiatric services.

“I suppose one thing that the HSE were keen to point out at the meeting was that the specs for an acute psychiatric hospital would be completely different to the spec of an ordinary hospital.”

“Even the renovations and the improvements that have been made to St Michael’s currently would not be enough to feature an acute psychiatric hospital. So even though the intention would be very, very good it wouldn’t currently be suitable as an acute psychiatric hospital.”