Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Central Mental Hospital.

10.

asked the Minister for Health if he has yet received a report from the Acting Clinical Director about the future changes needed in Dundrum Central Mental Hospital; if so, what are the main recommendations; and what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.

No such report has been received by me.

Have any recommendations been received by the Minister in relation to the changeover of administration of the Central Mental Hospital?

That arises in another question.

11.

asked the Minister for Health his plans for the creation of an advanced forensic psychiatric research and cure unit at the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin.

This is primarily a matter for the Eastern Health Board which has taken over the administration of the Central Mental Hospital as from 1st September. I may say, however, that a post of Director of Forensic Psychiatry has been created and is filled in a temporary capacity, pending the making of a permanent appointment. A working party, containing representatives of the Health Board and my Department, has been established to consider how new buildings, which I have agreed should be provided at Dundrum, can best be planned and utilised. Needs in regard to treatment and research will, no doubt, be kept in mind by the working party and by the Eastern Health Board.

Could the Minister indicate how long it will take to provide the new building?

I could not say how long it will take. As the Deputy knows, there is quite an amount of difference of opinion as to how one constitutes a hospital like this in regard to the security element and also the therapeutic element. We are examining it as rapidly as possible and if I can get some definite plans recommended I am quite sure the capital would be available within the next 18 months, in any event.