Mental Health Services and Suicide

To ask the Minister for Health the progress made in the allocation of €35 million in the last budget towards the implementation of a vision for change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Dan Neville T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 10th July, 2012.

To ask the Minister for Health the progress made on the development in 2012 of the multi-disciplinary community based psychiatric teams as recommended in A Vision for Change; and the progress made in filling posts to achieve this aim in 2012 as outlined by Government in allocating €35 million towards this objective in Budget 2012.. – Dan Neville T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 10th July, 2012.

REPLY.

Funding from the €35m special allocation for mental health will be used primarily to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services which will ensure, at a minimum, that at least one of each mental health professional discipline is represented on every team.

It is planned that 414 staff will be recruited to the mental health service to deliver on the €35m package of special measures. In order to establish this staffing requirement, a detailed gap analysis of the present composition of 185 Community Mental Health Teams was undertaken. The specific need in relation to each team in all of the four main regions was identified as quickly as possible after the Service Plan was decided. HSE approvals have issued to the four Regional Directors of Operations for the filling of the posts in their areas. The process of recruitment commences immediately on approval.

Of the 414 posts involved, the HSE has had to convert 31 of these in the Dublin Mid Leinster region to nursing that will be assigned in the immediate term to acute in-patient services. However, it is intended that this will be done in the context of introducing a nursing floor for the acute in-patient and community services in that region consistent with the provision of safe services in line with A Vision for Change as well as the Mental Health Commission Quality Framework for Mental Health Services and the roll out of the clinical care programmes.