Dáil Éireann - Volume 631 - 20 February, 2007
Written Answers. - Mental Health Services.
Mr. English Mr. English
Mr. English asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of the community based multidisciplinary community mental health teams; the location of these teams; the number and type of staff vacancies that remain to be filled on these teams; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6246/07]
Mr. T. O’Malley Mr. T. O’Malley
Mr. T. O’Malley: “A Vision for Change” the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, which was launched in January 2006, recommends that mental health services within each mental health catchment area are provided through multidisciplinary community mental health teams. The Report considers that over 320 community mental health teams are required to service the mental health needs of adults, children and adolescents, persons with an intellectual disability, older persons etc. Teams should include input from psychiatry, nursing, social work, clinical psychology and occupational therapy. “A Vision for Change” also recommends that research should be undertaken to establish how many services currently have effective community mental health teams. Currently not all mental health staff are deployed within such teams.
 Implementation of “A Vision for Change” is a matter primarily for the HSE. The HSE established an implementation group in July 2006 to ensure that mental health services develop in a synchronised and consistent manner across the country and to guide and resource service managers and clinicians in making the recommendations in “A Vision for Change” a reality.
As part of the work of the implementation group proposals for the recommended catchment areas are being considered. In addition an audit of mental health staff covering all disciplines and grades is being conducted which, when completed, will facilitate the deployment of staff within multidisciplinary teams.
In 2006 funding was provided for 18 additional consultant-led adult multidisciplinary teams, 14 team enhancements and 8 child and adolescent teams. In 2007 funding was also provided to the HSE for the development of a further 8 child and adolescent community mental health teams.
Mr. Rabbitte Mr. Rabbitte
Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on criticisms on the lack of progress of the mental health policy, A Vision for Change; the position regarding that document’s recommendations and their implementation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6272/07]
Mr. T. O’Malley Mr. T. O’Malley
Mr. T. O’Malley: I would like to assure the Deputy that the Government is committed to the full implementation of “A Vision for Change” and has accepted the Report as the basis for the future development of our mental health services.
In March 2006, I appointed an independent monitoring group to monitor progress on the implementation of the recommendations of “A Vision for Change”. The group will monitor and assess progress on the implementation of all the recommendations including those which fall under the responsibility of the HSE, government departments and other relevant agencies. The Group is to submit its first annual report before mid 2007.
Implementation of the individual recommendations of “A Vision for Change” is a matter primarily for the HSE. The HSE established an implementation group in July 2006 to ensure that mental health services develop in a synchronised and consistent manner across the country and to guide and resource service managers and clinicians in making the recommendations in “A Vision for Change” a reality. Both of these groups will play an important role in ensuring that the recommendations are implemented in a co-ordinated and timely manner.
I have been informed by the HSE that they plan to publish a Progress Report and outline the proposed implementation programme over the life of “A Vision for Change” in the near future.
 In 2006, a sum of €26.2 million was provided for the development of our mental health services in line with “A Vision for Change”. A further sum of €25 million has been allocated for 2007. Developments in 2007 will include eight new child and adolescent mental health teams, up to 36 new in-patient beds for children and adolescents, specialist mental health services for older people, the homeless, persons with an intellectual disability and persons with an eating disorder, suicide prevention initiatives including a national positive mental health awareness programme and enhanced services and additional places at the Central Mental Hospital.
Dáil Éireann 631 Written Answers. Mental Health Services.