Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (109)

Barry Cowen


109. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health his views on the recent annual report published by the Mental Health Commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30424/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I welcome the publication of the Mental Health Commission Annual Report 2012 which includes the Report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services. The function of the Mental Health Commission is to promote, encourage and foster the establishment and maintenance of high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services. This Annual Report provides a valuable contribution to the current important discussion on how to further improve standards in the delivery of our mental health services.

I welcome the continued progress towards ending the use of outdated and unsuitable buildings to provide in-patient services and the continued development of child and adolescent units which has contributed to a decline in the number of admissions of children to adult units. However, it is disappointing that the pace of change towards a modern, patient-centred, recovery orientated mental health service has been somewhat slower than expected. It is also a concern that the Inspector found that overall compliance with regulation, rules and codes of practice in 2012 can only be regarded as fair with no significant improvement on previous years.

The implementation of A Vision for Change remains a priority for this Government. We are committed to reforming our model of healthcare delivery so that more and better quality care is delivered in the community. To achieve this, additional funding totalling €70 million and almost 900 new posts have been provided as part of the last two Budgets primarily to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams for both adults and children.

High standards in facilities and in in-patient care must be the norm without exception. The aim is to further develop mental health services that are recovery oriented and that put service users, their families and carers at the centre.

The announcement by the HSE of the appointment of a new Director for Mental Health will pave the way for a significant change in the management and delivery of our mental health services and will be a key step towards remedying many of the problems identified by the Inspector for Mental Health Services.

Question No. 110 answered with Question No. 89.