Minister John Moloney announces Multi-Annual Capital Programme for Mental Health
John Moloney T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Disability and Mental Health has expressed his satisfaction that Budget 2010 has provided for a multi-annual programme of capital investment in high priority mental health projects consistent with ‘A Vision for Change’. Speaking today he said that ‘My two priorities for 2009 were to get agreement on the funding of the mental health capital programme from the proceeds of sales of mental health assets and to ensure the appointment of a National Lead on Mental Health within the HSE to drive the implementation of a ‘A Vision for Change’. I am delighted that both these elements have been achieved and we can now move forward with renewed energy on our programme for the modernisation of mental health services’.
The Minister also announced a €3m Innovation Fund for disabilities and mental health and welcomed the provision of funding to enable the statutory registration and inspection of residential services for children with disabilities to commence by the end of 2010.
Mental Health Capital Programme
The value of mental health assets significantly counterbalances the cost of the new mental health infrastructure requirement as outlined in A Vision for Change. In 2010 the HSE will proceed to dispose of such assets and invest an initial sum of €43m in the mental health capital programme. Provision for continued funding of the programme will be made in the 2011 Estimates and subsequent years, in the light of the previous year’s programme of asset sales. The mental health capital programme will provide a range of facilities across the entire spectrum of mental healthcare facilities including acute psychiatric units, child and adolescent units, day hospitals, community nursing units and high support hostels, and will provide the infrastructure necessary to enable its transformation into a patient-centred, flexible and community based mental health service, where the need for hospital admission is greatly reduced, whilst still providing in-patient care when appropriate.
Innovation Funding for Disability & Mental Health
The Minister also announced that Innovation Funding of €3m has been provided in the 2010 HSE Vote in respect of disability and mental health. This funding will be allocated to The Person Centre, a non-profit organisation which has established a fund with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies to support transition from institutional to person-centred models of care in disability and mental health services. This allocation is a reflection of the important partnership which has developed in recent years between Government and philanthropy in driving the reform of our disability and mental health services. The service reforms which will be facilitated by this fund are fully in line with the objectives of Government policy as set out in A Vision for Change and with the objectives of the National Disability Strategy. Proposals will be invited jointly by The Person Centre and the HSE from service providers who can deliver a quantified transition of service users from institutional to community settings on a cost-neutral basis, after the initial transitional period. All projects selected for funding will be subject to a full evaluation at the end of the transition period, thus maximising the learning for the system as a whole.
Inspection of residential facilities for children with disabilities
When the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Andrews published the implementation plan following the publication of the Commission to Inquire in to Child Abuse Report, a commitment was made that the Health Act 2007 would be commenced to allow the Social Services Inspectorate in HIQA to implement an independent registration and inspection system for all residential services provided for children with disabilities. Funding is being provided in 2010 to proceed with the commitment which in respect of these children and the registration and inspection system will commence by the end of 2010. The Minister added that detailed proposals would also be brought to Government early in the New Year in respect of the protection of vulnerable adults with disabilities who are in residential services provided by or on behalf of the State.