The Malta Independent 21 May 2022, Saturday

Social workers concerned about closure of psychiatric out-patient department at Mater Dei Hospital

Friday, 14 August 2020, 12:11 Last update: about 3 years ago

While the Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW) welcomes the provision of a psychiatric service through the mental health community clinics, "closing the psychiatric out-patients department without a concrete plan to transfer all patients to such community clinics has brought about increased concerns amongst service users, their carers and professionals," it said in a statement.

"Professionals who are bound by duty of care are concerned about the postponement of appointments on multiple occasions. While some patients or their carers are able to reach out for help and get an appointment, there is grave concern for those patients with serious mental illness who lack insight and who might fall through the cracks and remain in the community untreated, with serious consequences."

The MASW said that there is also concern about the lack of human resources to meet the high demands "and this concern also extends to who will shoulder medical legal responsibility should something happen due to lack of human resources."

"An appeal is hereby being made for the mental health community clinics to be housed in appropriate premises, whereby each member of the multidisciplinary can offer quality service. The MASW supports the Alliance for Mental Health in its concern that mental health issues are on the increase and will continue to affect people even when the virus is under control."

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