Press Release

Minister supports Health Board in establishing high-support hostel at Lispopple, Co. Dublin

The Minister for Health & Children, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D. today (11th April) expressed his full support for the Northern Area Health Board’s actions in establishing a high support hostel for former psychiatric patients at Lispopple, Co. Dublin. He stressed the rights of those with mental illness to live their lives with dignity as members of the community and called on the residents of Lispopple to withdraw the pickets which have been placed on the hostel.

“Successive governments over the years have supported the policy that psychiatric care should be primarily community-based” the Minister stated. “The shift in our mental health services from an institutional to a community-based setting has resulted in significant improvements in the quality of life of many psychiatric patients. I am fully committed to this policy and I support the efforts of the health board in improving the facilities for users of the mental health services in North County Dublin.”

The Northern Area Health Board purchased Carlton House, Lispopple, Co. Dublin in November 2000 for use as a high-support hostel for the mental health services in North County Dublin. The hostel will be used by former patients of St. Ita’s Psychiatric Hospital and will be staffed by psychiatric nurses on a 24 hour basis. The aim is to provide each individual patient with the best possible care in the most appropriate setting. The Minister stressed that patients are only discharged from in-patient psychiatric care when their clinical condition warrants it.

The Minister noted that the Health Board has met with the Lispopple Residents’ Association on a number of occasions since December to inform them of the proposal and to seek to address their concerns. Members of the Residents’ Association were invited to sit on the health boards’ management committee for the hostel, but they declined.

“I call on the Lispopple Residents’ Association to resume discussions with the Northern Area Health Board and to take up the Boards’ offer of participation on the management committee of the hostel” the Minister said.

The Health Board is proceeding with its plans for the hostel and two patients moved into the house today, accompanied by nursing staff.