Written Answers. - St. Ita's Hospital, Dublin.

Ray Burke

Question:

132 Mr. R. Burke asked the Minister for Health his views on the future of the St. Ita's Hospital complex, including psychiatric, handicapped and geriatric services and with particular reference to the job security of staff. [558/94]

Services for people with a mental illness, a mental handicap and the dependent elderly at St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane are the responsibility of the Eastern Health Board. The board's proposals for these services are in line with Government policy as expressed in three policy documents "Planning for the Future", "Needs and Abilities" and "The Years Ahead" dealing with services for the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped and the elderly respectively. These policy documents advocate the development of a comprehensive range of facilities in general hospitals and in the community for these client groups.

Discussions are currently taking place about the transfer of part of the acute psychiatric service from St. Ita's to Beaumont Hospital. Progress will also be made this year with the transfer of 47 clients with a mental handicap to more appropriate facilities in the mental handicap services. In this context, certain staff at the hospital will be re-deployed to general hospital or community-based facilities.
The board envisages that St. Ita's will continue to provide care for many patients on the St. Ita's complex for the foreseeable future. I can assure the Deputy and the staff concerned that job security is not affected in any way.