Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Doherty welcomes new mental health unit for Meath and Louth

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Wednesday) welcomed confirmation from the HSE that a new adult mental health unit is being provided for Meath and Louth at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Deputy Doherty added that the provision of the new unit is part of the Government’s commitment to implement the mental health strategy, A Vision for Change.

“The Government is committed to implementing A Vision for Change, the strategy aimed at completely overhauling the way we deliver mental health services in this country. It includes a focus on delivering services in the community, and upgrading and replacing facilities to ensure the best possible care is being provided.

“This new purpose built 45-bed adult Acute Admissions Unit, which will be located at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Healthcare Campus, is being developed in line with A Vision for Change. It will replace the adult acute inpatient units in Ardee and Navan, meaning that people from both Meath and Louth will be able to access high quality care from this new facility. However, there are no plans to close the psychiatric units in Navan and Ardee and both will be maintained as an integral part of our mental health services. 

“Progress is already being made in bringing this project to fruition; a tendering process is underway and a contract is expected to be awarded shortly with a target date of mid 2015 for completion of the unit. The development of new units like this one will be complemented by the provision of fully staffed Community Mental Health Teams, consisting of social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists.

“The Government’s mental health strategy, under A Vision for Change, and our plans for the complete reform of the health service, place an emphasis on providing care to patients in their own communities, enabling them to access treatment close to home and avoiding unnecessary hospital stays. These plans took a significant step forward this week, with the announcement of a series of Primary Care Centres which will be built across the country as part of the Government’s €2 billion Stimulus Package.

“We face a huge task in reforming our mental health services, which were neglected for so long by previous Governments. The Independent Monitoring Report, published this week, said that progress is too slow in some areas. This is something the Government needs to be acutely aware of. I am confident that through the roll out of Primary Care Centres, the development of new units and the earmarking of €35 million for mental health services, we can make significant strides in the way we provide mental health care to those who need it most.”

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