HSE Welcomes the Monitoring Group Report for Vision for Change

The HSE welcomed today the publication of the Report of the Monitoring Group on the Implementation of"A Vision for Change"- the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health  Policy. The Independent Monitoring Group was established in March 2006 to monitor and assess progress on the implementation of "A Vision for Change".

The HSE is fully committed to implementing"A Vision for Change"and has put in place a targeted Action Plan which focuses on six key areas for 2008 which include:

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

One of the key priorities for 2008 will be to provide eight additional Consultant Child Psychiatry teams together with increasing the inpatient bed capacity from the current number of 12 to 30 by the end of 2008.  Construction will also begin on two purpose-built 20 bed children’s inpatient units in Galway and Cork.  The Waiting List report on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services completed in 2007 will be utilised to develop a number of incentives to address waiting lists. 

Significant progress has been made and 4 additional beds have already been commissioned in Galway with the balance in Dublin and Cork to be commissioned by the fourth quarter of 2008.  This will increase the Child and Adolescent inpatient bed capacity from 12 to 30 which is a 150% increase. 

We have also just recently advertised an additional 12 Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and the teams to support the consultants are also being advanced.

The HSE is also examining new ways of working to address waiting lists which will maximize the capacity of existing Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams

Modernisation of Mental Health Infrastructure

Work is advanced nationally on the process of replacing the remaining psychiatric hospitals with a range of modern mental health services. Closure plans for existing psychiatric hospitals will be  put in place by the end of 2008.These closure plans will identify the resources required to relocate patients from existing psychiatric hospitals to appropriate community facilities.

Many Psychiatric Hospitals have already been closed with patients transferring to alternative community services over the last number of years.  The HSE is continuing to progress the closure of Hospitals in accordance with the recommendations in ‘A Vision for Change’.  Recent closures include the closure of St. Mary’s Psychiatric Hospital Castlebar and the closure of the old building at St. Brigids Hospital, Ballinasloe.

Already, money from these sales has been reinvested in new and upgraded psychiatric facilities around the country and this process will continue on an on going basis.

Capital funding of €145m has been provided and expended on the upgrading of mental health facilities under the National Development Plan 2000 to 2007.  Additional funding under the National Development Plan of €20m per annum will be provided in the period 2008-2011.  We will also be reinvesting funding that will be realised from the disposal of assets.  In addition €60m worth of infrastructure has been provided through leases in the same period.

A comprehensive programme for the valuation and sale of mental health facilities is currently in progress, with a view to selling a number of properties in the next two years. All revenue raised from these sales will be directed towards improving mental health services.

In the context of the above work is advanced nationally on the process of replacing the remaining psychiatric hospitals with a range of modern mental health services.

Mental Health Services for People with an Intellectual Disability

Each area will be required in 2008 to agree the reconfiguration necessary to meet the recommendations in relation to the provision of services for people with Intellectual Disability.  As the majority of services for people with intellectual disability is provided by voluntary partners these arrangements will be agreed and developed jointly with the voluntary partners. 

Considerable work in planning the reconfiguration of mental health services for people with an intellectual disability was undertaken in 2007 following the Report of the Forum on Mental health and Intellectual Disability. This report also had regard to the recommendations contained in Vision for Change.

Dialogue has begun with voluntary service providers on how services might be configured in compliance with requirements of MHA (Mental Health Act) 2001.

Community Based Mental Health Teams

The HSE will expand multidisciplinary community based mental health teams and complete existing teams. In addition, it is intended to support new and existing teams to develop the multidisciplinary nature of their services and provide a more comprehensive range of medical, psychological and social therapies to service users and families. 

Significant progress has been made in establishing multi disciplinary teams in some areas and these teams will be advanced further as we close existing psychiatric hospitals and transfer resources to the community.  A gap analysis is currently being carried out on existing Community Mental Health Teams to inform this process.

We are also currently progressing 8 New Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams

Additional psychology training and a new post grad psychiatric nursing course will also address capacity issues to ensure appropriate availability of key multi disciplinary team members

Catchment Area Definition and Clarification

The focus of "A Vision for Change"is the delivery of services on a population basis. These recommendations are predicated on the provision of services to a defined population. In the context of the development of Primary Care Teams and Health and Social Care Networks it is important to align mental health services with population based approaches.  This work will be carried out and is essential to the planning of specialist services and the interface of primary care and mental health service delivery at local level.

Significant work has been undertaken in each LHO (Local Health Office) area to examine sector boundaries in the context of Transformation to align the mental health sectors with the Primary Care Teams and the Health and Social Care Networks.

Mr. Seamus McNulty, Assistant National Director, HSE, today emphasised –

“Vision for Change will be implemented in tandem with the HSE’s overall Transformation Programme. This approach will ensure that everyone will have access to health services in their local community through appropriate primary care services.

We have put in place clear leadership for the implementation of Vision for Change and are committed to taking the necessary next steps.  We acknowledge that there is much work still to be done but we are committed to progressing this work within the set time-frame for implementing Vision for Change”.



Last updated on: 01 / 07 / 2008