Written answers

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Department of Health

Mental Health Services Staffing

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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118. To ask the Minister for Health the number of mental health posts that were approved in 2012, 2013, 2014 and in 2015 to date but which are not yet filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43069/15]

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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The Government has provided €125 million ring-fenced funding for mental health since 2012 up to the end of 2015, to modernise services in line with A Vision for Change(AVFC) and Programme for Government commitments. A key focus has been additional posts to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams for both adults and children. This funding is also being used to enhance specialist community mental health services for older people with a mental illness, those with an intellectual disability and mental illness, the forensic mental health services, and suicide prevention initiatives.

Around 1,150 new posts have been approved since 2012 to 2014. These posts facilitate the policy of moving away from traditional institutional based care to a patient-centred, flexible and community based mental health service where hospital admissions are greatly reduced, while still providing in-patient care when appropriate. As at end September:

- 400.5 or 96% of the 416 development posts for 2012 have started;

- 431 or 90% of the 477.5 development posts for 2013 have started;

- Of the 251 development posts for 2014, 103 have been recruited of which 97 had started by 30 September 2015, and a further 64.5 are at various stages of the recruitment process.

Following discussions between the Department of Health and the HSE around the allocation of the €35 million provided for mental health in 2015, the priority areas to be further enhanced and developed have been agreed and approved. Some of the funding will be used this year to improve safety and regulatory compliance of services, as well as funding enhanced service capacity, which was funded up to now through the use of time-related savings from previous years’ allocations. A further €35 million has been secured for mental health in 2016. The details of the 2016 Budget will be finalised with the HSE in the context of approval of its 2016 National Service Plan, which will also outline the total amount of funding for all services, including, mental health services, in 2016.


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