Social Democrat councillor Paul Mulville has highlighted delays to the new National Forensic Mental Health Services Hospital at Portrane to at least the third quarter of this year due to staffing issues, writes Rachel Cunningham.
In November last, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly claimed that the facility would be handed over to the HSE in December, with an expected opening time of March or April of this year.
The HSE’s General Manager of Mental Health Services, Thomas O’Brien, has stated that the new Portrane facility, which will replace the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, was not formally handed over to the HSE’s Management Team of the Central Mental Hospital until March of this year. It is currently being equipped and a period of testing and training is being conducted. Mr O’Brien has confirmed that the HSE does not expect to have sufficient staff to open the new facility until the third quarter of the year.
Cllr. Melville commented: “This delay is indicative of the lack of resources invested in mental health services by this government. Despite the mental health crisis that has been caused by the pandemic, there has been a 1 per cent reduction in the overall share of the health budget allocated to mental health services this year.”
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