I thank the Deputy for the opportunity to update the House on this project. My colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, visited the project this afternoon. I am pleased to advise that construction is currently under way for the National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital and is due to be completed at the end of the year. It is anticipated this new facility will open in 2020, following its equipping and commissioning. The new 170 single-bedroom National Forensic Mental Service Hospital is designed to facilitate segregated high and medium secure services. It will include a number of shared facilities, which will comprise the 130-bedroom National Forensic Hospital to replace the existing 94-bed Central Mental Hospital complex at Dundrum. It will also include a co-located ten-bedroom forensic child and adolescent mental health unit and a 30-bedroom intensive care rehabilitation unit, ICRU.
The new complex will position Ireland’s forensic mental health service as a world leader in best clinical practice. Developing mental health services remains a priority for the Government, as I know it is for the Deputy. Budget 2019 provided an additional €55 million for new developments in mental health, which brings overall HSE mental health funding to nearly €1 billion this year. This funding will help to make mental health services more person-centred, user-friendly, responsive to need, and recovery orientated. Separate from the project team responsible for the construction and commissioning phases of the new facility, the HSE recently established a high-level governance group for the transition of the forensic mental health service from the old Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, to Portrane.