The Health Service Executive is to seek a new intensive care rehabilitation unit for psychiatric services in the west.

The move comes in a bid to relieve pressure on services at Roscommon County Hospital.

At a meeting in Roscommon the HSE defended staffing levels at the existing unit - despite the death of a patient and a series of assaults in the last three weeks.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association has described the unit as unsafe after a number of staff were assaulted.

The HSE has denied reports that patients have been turned away from the unit.

After raising the issue with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil earlier this week, local TDs sought an urgent meeting with HSE managers to seek reassurances about the services.