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Written Answers - Health Service Staff

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 29.  Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the final number of staff who left the Health Service Executive’s mental health services by the end of February; the number of same who were psychiatric nurses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16260/12]

 71.  Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the final number of staff who left the health services by the end of February deadline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16274/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 71 together.

The most recent figures available (as at 9 March) indicate that approximately 4,500 staff left the health service in the period between September 2011 and end-February 2012. Final figures are expected to be available shortly.

The provisional number of staff who left the Health Service Executive’s mental health services by end-February was 645. Of these, 450 were in the Nursing staff category which, in addition to psychiatric nurses, includes a number of other grades such as Senior Staff Nurse (Dual Qualified) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (General). As in other care areas, efficiencies and other savings are required in the mental health service, which will have to deal with its share of staff reductions.

In this context, the HSE’s Service Plan includes a commitment to reduce acute in-patient capacity by a minimum of 153 beds nationally in 2012, in line with the recommendations of A Vision for Change. A key priority for the HSE is the reconfiguration of acute in-patient services and the redeployment of staff resources away from old institutional settings or over-provision of acute in-patient beds towards community-based services. A special allocation of €35m for mental health was announced in Budget 2012 and will be used primarily to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services, including the recruitment of approximately 400 additional staff for this purpose.

The HSE is also using the provisions of the Public Service Agreement to bring about greater flexibilities in work practices and rosters, redeployment and other changes to achieve more efficient delivery of services.


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