Press Release

Minister Moloney welcomes the Fourth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on A Vision for Change

Mr John Moloney, T.D., Minister for Disability and Mental Health today, Thursday 1 July 2010, published the Fourth Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group for A Vision for Change.

The Report acknowledges progress in relation to the development of child and adolescent services, the appointment of the Assistant National Director for Mental Health and Executive Clinical Directors and the gradual movement towards the creation of catchment areas as outlined in A Vision for Change. However, overall the Monitoring Group is disappointed with the progress achieved since the launch of A Vision for Change.

Commenting on the Report the Minister said that a significant amount of preparatory work and planning has been taking place which will show tangible progress in 2010 and 2011. The Minister added “Budget 2010 provided for a multi-annual programme of capital investment in high priority mental health projects to be funded from future disposal of psychiatric assets. This allows the HSE to proceed to dispose of surplus assets and reinvest an initial sum of €50m 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 Minister acknowledged that progress in some areas is too slow. However in many parts of the country services are pressing ahead with the implementation of A Vision for Change.

Priorities for 2010 include: a new acute psychiatric unit which is under construction in Donegal, the construction of a new acute unit at Beaumont Hospital will commence shortly to replace the acute unit in St Ita’s Hospital. Acute admissions to St Brendan’s Hospital will transfer to Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown. Similarly, acute admissions to St Senan’s will cease in 2011.

Other facilities that are under construction include: two 20-bed child and adolescent inpatient units; child and adolescent mental health facility in Cherry Orchard, Dublin; a Community Nursing Unit (CNU) has been completed in Ballinasloe and new CNUs are being constructed in Mullingar and Clonmel.

The Minister welcomed the Report of the Monitoring Group which together with the recent report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services will help to drive change in the mental health services.

Read the Report and Related Documents