While the commitment of €35 million for the development of community mental health services is extremely welcome, expenditure of this money is in jeopardy without the immediate appointment of a Director for mental health.
She continued: “We are particular concerned by the inspector’s comments that ‘staff are being re-deployed from the community to inpatient units and staff, formerly allocated to therapeutic activities, have been transferred to duties more custodial in nature’. This is in total contrast to government mental health policy and a direct result of staff shortages.
“It must be clear that the 414 staff promised in the HSE service plan cannot be redeployed into in-patient services but must remain in the community once appointed. Otherwise we will be going backwards”, Ms Barry concluded.