Belfast mental health unit patients and staff attend hospital following weekend 'incident'

The Belfast Trust confirmed there was an incident involving "a small number of patients" at Shannon Clinic. Credit: Google

Patients and staff at a psychiatric unit in south Belfast had to attend hospital following an "incident" over the weekend.

In a statement, the Belfast Trust confirmed there was an incident involving "a small number of patients" at Shannon Clinic during the early hours of Saturday morning.

It did not go into details of the incident.

The Trust confirmed the patients involved, along with a small number of staff members, attended the emergency department and were later discharged.

The patients have since returned to Shannon Clinic.

The statement continued: "We have robust measures to keep staff and patients safe and whilst incidents like this may occur our staff can de-escalate them quickly and safely.

"Staff working in Forensic Mental Health, as well as those across the HSC, are experiencing increasing pressure as demand for services continues to grow. We thank them for the commitment they are showing and are providing as much support as possible to allow them to deliver the highest level of care.

"Across the HSC we have a high vacancy rates within nursing posts, with mental health posts particularly affected.

"Whilst we are working to establish longer term solutions we are using agency staff to provide a high level of expertise and safe care across all mental health units. Our agency colleagues are integral to our team and without them we could not provide the level of care we need.

"On Saturday morning, there were four staff on duty on the ward, of which one was an agency staff member.

In a statement, police confirmed they had received a report of an assault in the Saintfield Road area of south Belfast, and that "enquiries are ongoing."

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