Press Release

€3.5M Govt fund to support community health projects welcome – Minister Harris

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD today welcomed the recent announcement from the Department of Rural and Community Development of the approval of the 2017 Dormant Accounts Action Plan. Additional funding of up to €3.46 million is being made available to the Department of Health in the period 2017-2019 to support a range of health projects. These projects will assist refugees, transgender persons, Travellers, Roma, people with dementia and older people. (Details of the health-related measures that will be supported by Dormant Accounts funding are included in the Notes for Editors below.)

The allocations have been welcomed by Minister Simon Harris, Minister Catherine Byrne and Minister Jim Daly.

Minister Harris said: “Over the next three years over €3 million in additional funding will be targeted at health projects to support people who are sometimes left behind by society and are at higher risk of serious medical conditions, isolation, psychiatric illnesses and substance use disorders. I am very pleased the Government is able to fund these measures which are expected to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people in these target groups.”

Minister Byrne added, “The additional funding allocated for measures to support Travellers, Roma, refugees and transgender persons will not only improve health outcomes but also help foster greater community participation and inclusiveness in society.”

Minister Daly welcomed the focus on older people and people with dementia, noting that “people with dementia and their carers are often isolated and marginalised, and the measures approved in this Action Plan will put in place a number of supports to enable people diagnosed with dementia to live well in their communities for as long as possible.”

The Department of Health will ensure that the necessary arrangements are now put in place to commence implementation of the measures approved in the Dormant Accounts Action Plan.


Notes for Editors

Summary of Dormant Account Measures

Dementia post-diagnostic supports €640,000
This innovative measure will provide post-diagnostic supports in 19 sites across Ireland reaching approximately 800 people with a dementia diagnosis.

National Dementia Registry €200,000
This measure will enable the National Dementia Office in the HSE to develop a business plan for a fully functional national dementia registry by providing funding for a project manager, research assistant and specialist expertise as required. The measure is in line with the National Dementia Strategy calls for better collection of data and use of evidence to inform health and social system responses to the needs of people with dementia and their carers. The establishment of a National Dementia Registry has significant potential to drive improvements in care for people with dementia as well as enhancing policy formulation and facilitating research.

Dementia Friendly Community Groups €90,000
This project will enable the establishment of a Dementia Friendly Community Group (DFCG) in each of the nine Community Health Organisations (CHOs) to a value of €10,000 per CHO.

Assistive Technology Libraries €300,000
This measure will further expand the network of Assistive Technology Libraries, provide new and replacement equipment and train staff in the use of the equipment.

Pathways to Participation’ Mapping Project to develop a cross-departmental report to highlight the participation programmes currently run or funded by public sector agencies €40,000
This measure will conduct a Mapping Project/Cross-Departmental Report to identify the services and programmes for older people currently available throughout Ireland and to consolidate and provide access to these services in a user-friendly format. This will ultimately provide older people with a single source of information on the services, facilities and assistance available to them in their communities. This will be of particular assistance to older people who are isolated and vulnerable. This measure is compatible with the principles and goals of the National Positive Ageing Strategy.

Intercultural Healthcare In-Reach Project for Refugees in European Reception and Orientation Centres (EROC) €1,150,000
The aim of this measure is to provide health supports to Refugees arriving and settling under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) and to health and social care staff working with these Refugees. This project will help provide person centred health services for Refugees resident in EROCs.

Roma Primary Healthcare Training Programme €220,464
The aim of the project is to empower Roma leaders to work to improve Roma health outcomes in their communities in response to issues of poor health, lack of trust and lack of access to health services in the Roma community in Ireland. Over a two year period 20 Roma leaders will be trained as community health workers in the Dublin/Kildare area.

Development of an Interactive Mobile App to Support Migrants in accessing Health Services €45,000
The aim of this project is the development of an educational mobile interactive App that will offer an innovative, accessible means of assisting Migrants, Refugees, Asylum Seekers and foreign students in Ireland to access relevant information about health and related services in their locality.

Long-term Prescribing of Opioids, Benzodiazepines and Pregabalin in General Practice €30,720
This proposal plans to address the issue of long term prescribing of opioids, benzodiazepines and pregabalin in General Practice.

Provision of Supports to Families of Transgender Persons €240,500
The main aim of this measure is to provide family support measures to transgender people and their families. Individuals and families of transgender persons suffer social isolation and mental health issues. The role of family support has an extremely beneficial impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young transgender people and offers a proven protective factor to negative mental health outcomes, suicidality and self-harm.

Mental Health Initiative for Travellers €500,000
The aim of this measure is to develop Traveller mental health initiatives to reduce suicide and improve mental health outcomes for Travellers. These initiatives include maintaining and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing and improving Traveller access to mainstream mental health services through the development of culturally appropriate services. This proposal is in line with the actions proposed in the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy.