Question to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Ms. Kathleen Lynch, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the recruitment of staff to community mental health services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th October, 2013.
This Government has prioritised the reform of our mental health services in line with A Vision for Change and is committed in particular to the delivery of more and better quality care in the community. Additional funding totalling €70 million and some 900 new posts have been provided as part of the last two Budgets primarily to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams for both adults and children and to enhance specialist community mental health services for older people with a mental illness, those with an intellectual disability and mental illness and forensic mental health services in line with A Vision for Change.
Of the 414 posts allocated in 2012, as at the 26 August, the recruitment process is complete for 376 or 91%, of the posts. A number of the remaining posts are at various stages in the recruitment process. In addition, there are a number of posts for which there are difficulties in identifying suitable candidates due to various factors including the availability of qualified candidates and geographical location. Of the 477 posts approved in 2013, as at 30 August 2013, the process is complete for 15 of these posts with 225 posts in the final stages and a further 184 posts at various stages in the recruitment process. This means that almost 86% of posts are in the recruitment process. The remaining posts are in the HSE approvals process.
I have received assurances from the HSE that the filling of these posts is being given priority within the HSE.