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Written Answers - Mental Health Services

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 601.  Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  if recruitment of the 414 staff for mental health services, as announced in the Health Service Executive service plan 2012, has begun; the number of posts that have been filled; the number of mental health services staff that retired as part of the early retirement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16588/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch A special allocation of €35m for mental health was provided in Budget 2012 in line with commitments in the Programme for Government. This funding will be used to enhance Community Mental Health Teams, improve access to psychological therapies in primary care and implement suicide prevention strategies. It is planned that 414 staff will be recruited to the mental health service to deliver on these objectives. The staffing requirement relating to each region has been identified and the information necessary to commence recruitment is in the process of being collated by the four Regional Directors of Operations. It is proposed that the new professionals will be drawn from existing National Recruitment Service panels where available and new competitions will be established for the remaining posts.

The HSE has advised that 645 staff have retired from the mental health service under the retirement scheme referred to by the Deputy.

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