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Third complaint over Clare Mental Health Services

A COMPLAINT concerning the care and treatment of a 59-year-old Clare man with Parkinson’s Dementia and suspected Lewy Body disease in the Clare Mental Health Service has been sent to Health Minister, Mary Harney, The Clare Champion can exclusively reveal.

This is the third complaint against Clare Mental Health Services. The Mid-West Health Service Executive (HSE) has launched an investigation into the latest complaint containing allegations of a serious nature submitted by his family to officials at local and national level.

However, the health authority stressed in a statement to The Clare Champion that the patient “is receiving high quality care delivered by clinical staff who are trained and expert in the management of this type of illness”.

A spokesman for Minister Harney has confirmed that the documentation relating to the complaint was reviewed by the Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health. He recommended that the most appropriate course of action was that the family should, in the first instance, speak to the treating doctor in order to address their concerns.

The Acting Local Health Manager in Clare was already fully aware of the complaint and arranged a meeting on Friday between the treating doctor and family members, in order to explore their concerns about the patient’s treatment.

A separate review into allegations of abuse concerning the care of patients in the Clare Mental Health Service is already being conducted by the HSE. It follows serious allegations of abuse, neglect and bad practice involving elderly patients in the Clare Mental Health Services from retired East Clare nurse, Bridie Cox.

The HSE has pledged that appropriate action will be taken if it is established that such incidents have occurred.

Another unlinked investigation is also being undertaken about the care of the late Gerard Finn, Kilrush, who was a patient at Cappahard Lodge, Ennis following a series of complaints by some members of his family.

A few weeks ago, his daughter Lourda Finn called on the health authority to broaden the remit of its latest investigation into the allegations made by Ms Cox to look at other complaints.

The complaint concerning the 59-year-old father-of-four was discussed by Councillor Cathal Crowe and Defence Minister Willie O’Dea.

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