Lynch: Changes have been made at mental health services in west

Monday 30 June 2014 14.15
Minister Lynch said the full Vision for Change plan would not be completed by the end of the Government's term
Minister Lynch said the full Vision for Change plan would not be completed by the end of the Government's term

Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch has said substantial changes have already happened in relation to mental health services in Roscommon and Galway.

It follows a report carried out by an expert panel appointed by the Health Service Executive, which found the services were being run to outdated 30-year-old guidelines.

It also found the services were costing more money than elsewhere and had higher rates of admissions to psychiatric units.

The expert panel examined mental health services in the counties to see how they can be brought more into line with the national Vision for Change guidelines, which were introduced in 2006.

The experts concluded that services in the west are still operating under old national guidelines called Planning for the Future, which date back to 1984.

Vision for Change aims to replace institutional-based care with community-focused services.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister Lynch said in relation to rehabilitation teams, the rehabilitation consultant would be starting on 27 July, and was meeting with other consultants this week.

Regarding accommodation in the service, Ms Lynch said the Vision for Change policy outlined the need to move from 58 to nine hostels.

Minister Lynch said there was a need to be careful and sensitive about how the situation was moved on, but that it was happening.

She said there were improvements being made in mental health services.

However, she said the full Vision for Change plan would not be completed by the end of the term of this Government.

She said the Government was hopeful that because there was such agreement on it, that whoever came in to Government next, that the progress would continue.