WORK on the new mental health units due to be placed at Portrane will commence in two years time, according to Dublin North TD, Brendan Ryan (Lab).
The announcement comes after Deputy Ryan placed a parliamentary question to the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, requesting a progress report on the proposal to move the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) to its new location at Portrane.
Funding was last year committed to the project in the Government’s capital spending plans for the next five years.
The brand new building on a green-field site close to where St Ita’s Hospital currently sits, will replace a building dating from 1850 where the Central Mental Hospital is currently housed in Dundrum.
Deputy Ryan said: “I was informed by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Kathleen Lynch, that the Infrastructural and Capital Programme 2012 – 2016 includes capital funding for the reconfiguration of the National Forensic Mental Health Services.
“This will include the replacement of the Central Mental Hospital, the development of a 10-bed intellectual disability forensic mental health unit, a 10-bed child and adolescent forensic mental health unit, as well as four regional intensive care rehabilitation units (ICRUs).
“It is planned to build the new CMH, the intellectual disability and the child and adolescent forensic mental health units at Portrane, Co. Dublin.
“The design team has recently been appointed and commenced work on the project.
“Subject to the statutory approvals, it is expected that construction will commence in 2014 and take two years to complete,” he said.
There have been repeated calls over the past number of years from national and international experts for the replacement of the Dundrum facility in order to provide more care and treatment in a modern, up-to-date setting.
The project is expected to commence construction in 2014 with the project expected to be fully completed and the new facility operational by 2016.
The project is part of an investment of almost €2bn in capital projects in the health sector committed to between 2012 and 2016.
The design of the new Central Mental Hospital for its new location in Portrane is due to be circulated for public consultation by the end of this year.