Written Answers. - Psychiatric Services.

Ceist:

431 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will investigate the shortage of acute psychiatric beds at Tallaght Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26576/01]

There are 50 beds in the acute psychiatric unit, Tallaght General Hospital, serving a catchment area population of 260,000.

I am aware that the inspector of mental hospitals, in his annual report for the year ending 31 December 2000, expressed the view that this catchment area is too large. He recommends that consideration should be given to the realignment of the boundaries with a view to allocating a sector from this catchment area to another mental health service. I have been informed by the Eastern Regional Health Authority that this matter is being examined at present.