No Place To Be



“Neil, This (above) is my daughter who tried to jump of a bridge last night and is in the waiting room in A & E in this picture. She’s autistic, suicidal and obviously distressed. She was left for five hrs, balling crying on the floor.
The staff had no bed to give her, no comfort, not even as much as a glass of water. When other patients started to make a fuss they gave her a trolley. By this time my daughter was so distressed she was hysterical.
She told the consulting Doctor several times if we left she would kill herself. Their advice? Take her home. I’m now on route home with my daughter crying inconsolably in the back seat of the car. We left A & E with her balling crying and everyone staring at us with concern. God help us because no one else will. Please share this on the morning show. THIS is the way our young people are killing themselves. There is NO help”

A message to the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM.

The station write:

We have spoken to this mother this morning. Her daughter’s body is covered from head to toe in slashes from self harm. Mum is at her wits end and is living in fear that her daughter will kill herself. We have passed her details to the HSE.

Red FM (Facebook)

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55 thoughts on “No Place To Be

      1. munkifisht

        Can’t. You get what you don’t pay for. The HSE and especially front line services like A&E have been stripped of funding. Staff are mentally and physically exhausted.

        1. Manolo

          There is plenty money in the health system, it is just a case of using it properly. There are several cases that prove that throwing money into the health system does not improve patient services. The US is a good example.

          1. Don Pidgeoni

            The US is hardly a good example given that patients are often over-treated so that insurance companies and doctors make more.

          2. munkifisht

            Just because the HSE demands a massive amount of cash does not mean there’s plenty of money.The HSE is broken on a fundamental level but the major issue with the HSE is that it is used as a political football. Any well managed healthcare system (like the US one, which is awful really, but does work for those who can afford it) should have no political interference whatsoever. There shouldn’t be a minister for health but rather a health tzar or director with powers independent of government and a guaranteed budget for a protracted period longer than the present government’s term. This person should not have any alignment to any political party and should not be answerable in any way politically, but should be subject to review by a bipartisan, independent body.

  1. Don Pidgeoni

    Oof. Poor girl and poor family. I have a friend who had to scream blue murder to get her suicidal daughter into local mental health services after she had an attempt. You shouldn’t have that extra stress at all.

  2. scottser

    what a heartbreaking tale. surely her GP can have her assessed properly today, and admitted to a mental health facility?

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Would have thought this was a far better approach than A&E, which is for acute medical emergencies / primary care. Hope she gets the treatment she needs.

    2. Don Pidgeoni

      It depends how she was admitted to A&E. It could have been the police who took her there. Or her parents. Can she even be admitted straight into a ward in Cork or does she need a referral, in which case the A&E could have arranged for this to be done.

    3. Lorcan Nagle

      Well, if they’re relying on the HSE’s mental health services, she’ll likely be on a waiting list for weeks if not months for an initial asessment. If they can afford to pay for it, then she’s in luck.

  3. Leela2011

    Jesus christ, that is so awful. what a horrific experience for that girl and her mother :(
    My cousin has various issues and was eventually shipped off to the UK as there were no facilities equipped to care for him here, so distressing for his family.

  4. D

    Shocking. Not ideal but would it be a case of getting the Gardai involved at this stage, for her own safety. At least they could provide some amount of security until she can get properly cared for.

    1. scottser

      true, they can assess her and maybe get an order for involuntary admission but that’s an extra layer of distress for the girl and her family. it sounds like she wants the help, so voluntary is the way to go.

    1. ethereal_myst

      you don’t think being suicidal is an emergency? And just possibly as it was at night the GP was off duty

    2. ESV

      That’s very helpful advice, for which I’m sure the family will thank you. When your daughter tries to jump off a bridge in the middle of the night, best of luck getting your GP to be in his practice (or possibly even to answer his phone. If you have his home number, that is.)

      They’re all probably reading your comment saying, why didn’t we think of that?

        1. Em

          It qualifies as an emergency. She made an attempt so A&E is correct route to go in this situation. If it was an ideation then it’s through the GP.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Not exactly. Physically taking your own life is a wilful act. There are people in near death situations in the A&E departments – some following accidents, heart attacks and serious illnesses and requiring triage, resuscitation etc. Being distressed and suicidal would not require A&E services. Her GP should be in a position to refer her for a consult.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Well, you don’t know me, nor I you…but your massive contribution here to the A&E/suicidal-care debate is noted.

        1. squiggleyjoop

          This is a good encapsulation of the whole problem with attitudes towards mental health. Just because the issue is in somebody’s head does not make it any less deserving of emergency care than a broken limb or malfunctioning organ. This girl was suicidal. Whether it was wilful or not is irrelevant; she has a mental health issue that has led to an emergency situation which is threatening her life. If she can’t reach her GP a visit to A&E is a perfectly reasonable call.

          1. scottser

            just don’t expect to be seen for a number of hours though. A&E has it’s own system of priorities.

        2. Liz

          The only thing a gp will do is give you a letter to bring the suicidal person in to A & E. Having been through the process before with someone I can tell you that you are talking through the arse of your trousers. A & E is where all suicidal patients are sent. When they get there the shrink on call will come down, eventually, and speak to the person for a max of five minutes, after which time they will endeavour to persuade you to take your suicidal loved one home. That is the reality of the HSE and how they deal with suicide. It is a disgrace. They only reason I got my family member admitted is because I stood my ground and didn’t let them persuade me to take the problem off their hands. It is utterly deplorable. And shame on you for being so dismissive of suicidal people. They are as much in need and as desperate as someone who has been involved in an accident. Try to expand your thought processes. You won’t look like such an idiot.

    3. ollie

      dear GP, I’m suicidal.
      no problem, I can arrange an appointment for next week, what time would suit you?

    4. Don Pidgeoni

      The HSE guidance suggests people go to A&E if they are feeling suicidal. So clearly the HSE expect A&E to deal with it.

  5. Frilly Keane

    Jesus Christ! what the ück will we be left with in Ireland

    And the nerve of this Government to bareface their way to another year.

    If the staff of this hospital couldn’t manage to care for this girl they should ück off and get another line of work.

    I’m sick of the excuses
    Staffing ta’Overcrowding; sur if its not Budget Constraints its Management

    Compassion costs nothing

    Everything that is wrong with this story
    Everything that is wrong with this country
    Starts and Ends with Public Servants
    Elected; Appointed; Anointed; or by lucky fluke

    Out the ück Out Out

      1. ollie

        his governments fault for not funding mental health services, his fault for looking after himself and his cronies before the vulnerable in society.

  6. Joan Burton

    I see the mother had enough money for a fancy camera phone and a private car but none for a psychiatrist she just lets the state pick up the tab for her sick daughter.

  7. Sinabhfuil

    Shouldn’t the A&E (or whatever name they’ve changed it to now) doctor be able to refer a suicidal patient to a mental hospital where she can be taken care of?

    1. Lorcan Nagle

      You should finish the quote:

      “The HSE had to shelve plans to open a state-of-the-art €15m psychiatric unit at Cork University Hospital last month after unions objected on foot of major concerns over staffing and health and safety.”

      As the article continues, the staff numbers had been cut while the patient numbers hadn’t. Also, there were questions about how rapidly an emergency medical team could get on-site if a patient was dying.

  8. madouveh on the dole

    Utterly disgusting what the HSE has become.

    Not comparing my own situation to this poor girl at all, but just as an example of my own experiences.

    First one concerned going to A&E in St. Vincents for an x-ray on my hand which I was almost certain I’d broken after a bike accident.

    Took two visits, both comprising of roughly 8 hour waits (went home after my 8 hour wait without being seen the first time) Sure enough, I finally got my x-ray having twice being put down by the examining nurse as the lowest possible triage, and low and behold, my hand was actually broken.

    Second incident:

    Dentist who accepted my medical card (I’m a grubby student) refused to do an xray on my teeth because he said it wasn’t covered by the medical card. IT MOST CERTAINLY IS! went to a different dentist months later and guess what, my tooth had rotted so much in the meantime, that I now need root canal treatment on two teeth, which a I can’t afford. I’m waking up every morning and spitting out a mouth full of blood. Cheers HSE.

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