Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (849, 850)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

856 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the specific plans to spend the €35 million allocated in the budget last December to advance the implementation of A Vision for Change: if any of this funding has been drawn down; the proportion spent; if he will confirm all this funding will be spent on mental health community services only and not used by the Health Service Executive to meet deficits elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35337/12]

View answer

Billy Kelleher

Question:

870 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the specific plans to spend the €35 allocated in the budget last December to advance the implementation of A Vision for Change; if any of this funding will be spent on mental health community services only and not used by the Health Service Executive to meet deficits elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35446/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 856 and 870 together.

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.

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. The recruitment process for the 414 posts which will take some time to complete has already commenced and the majority of the appointments are expected to be made during the summer months.

Question No. 857 answered with Question No. 727.