I congratulate the Minister of State and all her staff who have been involved in this particularly important endeavour.
Central Mental Hospital (Relocation) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
I thank Deputies for contributing to this debate and for giving their support to this important legislation. It is heartening to see that the strong tradition of Deputies of all parties and Independents working together on matters of mental health endures. This is never more important than when those affected are some of the most vulnerable people in our mental health system.
Moving to a premises that is fit for purpose will make a significant difference to the welfare of those who are being treated in the hospital both in practical terms and in quality of care. Rooms will be appropriately sized and have storage facilities, which is not currently the case for all in the current premises. The new facility will be wheelchair accessible. More broadly, it will allow for a world-class service to be provided to those with the most complex mental health needs. It will be delivered to the highest international standards of quality and excellence and to greater numbers.
I thank those who helped in bringing forward the legislation, including the HSE, the Mental Health Commission, the Joint Committee on Health, the Business Committee and the Whip's office, for their support in scheduling the Bill in a timely way. I thank the officials in the Department of Health for their hard work on this legislation. I particularly thank Lynn Sullivan and Evelyn Robinson of the Office of the Attorney General for their contribution in recent months.
The mental health programme of work continues to be a busy one. It has become even more busy during this pandemic. The effects of the pandemic on mental health are significant and will last for some time. This issue is discussed every day in the House, both as part of Government business and Private Members’ business. I thank Members for their commitment to matters of mental health and I look forward to continued engagement and collaboration with them on these issues.
On a point of order, I wish to make clear that the prisoner to whom I referred was being held in Cloverhill Prison and not the Central Mental Hospital. The ill treatment did not occur in the Central Mental Hospital. I make that point lest anybody think that because the Central Mental Hospital is the subject of the Bill, the prisoner's ill treatment occurred there. It did not. It is quite clear that it occurred in Cloverhill.
I thank the Deputy for setting the record straight.