Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Ceisteanna (131, 132)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

198 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children the time which has elapsed since the passing of the Mental Health Act 2001; the reason for the delay in appointing the Mental Health Commission; the reason for the delay in establishing tribunals to review cases in which patients have been committed to care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8106/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health and Children)

The Mental Health Commission was established in April 2002 under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001. The commission's primary function is to promote and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services and to ensure that the interests of detained patients are protected.

The detailed work programme of the commission is a matter for itself to determine, in accordance with its statutory functions under the Mental Health Act 2001. However, I understand that one of the priorities for the commission is to put in place the structures required for the operation of mental health tribunals, as provided for in Part 2 of the Act. This year, additional funding of €3 million is available to the commission for this purpose.

The commission is involved in discussions with my Department, the health boards and other organisations to ensure that all elements of the organisational and support systems required are in place prior to the commencement of Part 2 of the Mental Health Act 2001.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

199 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will outline the powers of the Inspector of Mental Health Services regarding the complaint by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 about the management of the care of their child who is a patient; and if the inspector is in a position to assess the case of this person. [8107/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The Mental Health Commission has appointed Dr. Teresa Carey to the new position of Inspector of Mental Health Services. The office replaces that of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals. Dr. Carey has indicated that she intends to begin a programme of inspection of mental health facilities later this year. The inspector will be required to visit and inspect all approved centres at least once a year.

Any person dissatisfied with the level of care and treatment received by themselves or others while in the care of the mental health services may contact the Inspector of Mental Health Services at the Mental Health Commission, St. Martin's House, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4.