Dáil Éireann - Volume 649 - 04 March, 2008

Written Answers. - Eating Disorders.

Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Health and Children the services available to people suffering from eating disorders; the number of public beds available for people suffering from eating disorders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9180/08]

  Deputy Jimmy Devins: St Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin provides a referral service for public patients with eating disorders and has three dedicated national public beds for the assessment of such patients. Patients with eating disorders are also placed in St Patrick’s Hospital and St John of God’s when required. In a limited number of cases, consultants make referrals to other specialised eating disorder private services in Dublin or the UK.

The Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, entitled “A Vision for Change”, which was launched in January 2006, provides a framework for action to develop a modern, high quality mental health service over a 7 to 10 year period. “A Vision for Change” acknowledges gaps in the current provision of services for people with eating disorders and makes several recommendations for the further improvement of these services.

The report has been accepted by Government as the basis for the future development of the mental health services.