Written answers

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Department of Health

National Treatment Purchase Fund Eligibility

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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458. To ask the Minister for Health if children on the waiting list for psychological assessment can avail of the national treatment purchase plan; and if they can avail of this plan for treatment. [16642/19]

Photo of Jim DalyJim Daly (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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Developing Mental Health services remains a priority for Government. The Budget for 2019 provided an additional €55 million to progress new developments in mental health which brings overall HSE mental health funding to nearly €1 billion this year.

Access to specialist mental health services is typically via GP services, and specialist mental health services are provided in local community areas. These include acute inpatient services, day hospitals, outpatient clinics, community-based mental health teams (CAMHs, general adult and psychiatry of later life), mental health of intellectual disability, community residential and continuing care residential services. Sub-specialties include rehabilitation and recovery, eating disorders, liaison psychiatry and perinatal mental health.

In 2018, 114 new Assistant Psychologists and 20 Psychologists were recruited to the HSE Primary Care service, to help relieve pressures on the specialist CAMHS service. Minister Daly recently approved 10 new Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) posts to improve CAMHS.

The HSE is committed to the provision of evidence based Psychological Interventions for young people. These interventions are delivered mainly through Primary Care and where necessary through CAMHS Teams. In addition, significant additional funding has been allocated to Non-Governmental Organisations e.g. Jigsaw to improve access to young people seeking Psychological assistance.

In relation to the specific query raised by the Deputy, the role of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) is to authorise public hospitals to offer NTPF-funded treatment to clinically suitable long waiting patients who are on an acute hospital inpatient/day case waiting list for surgery, having been referred on to such a list following clinical assessment by a consultant/specialist at an outpatient clinic

As psychological assessments and CAMHs services are not Inpatient/Daycase or Outpatient waiting lists within an Acute hospital setting, they do not meet current NTPF criteria.


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