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Minister Kathleen Lynch TD Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People


NEW UNIT IN DEPT TO FIGHT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A COMPLEX DISABILITY ■ I have established a new unit within the Department of Health to deal with Children, Adolescents and Young People with Complex Disabilities Unit led by a Principal Officer. ■ This important development aims to foster greater collaboration between the various Departments of Health, Education and Skills and Children and Youth Affairs on children’s disability issues and to build on the cross sectoral working arrangements that are already in place.

Minister Kathleen Lynch at launch of 'Creating the Future' which took place at Cope Foundation, Montenotte, Cork

DISABILITY STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN PUBLISHED ■ In July we published the plan developed by National Disability Strategy Implementation Group. ■ The Plan is organised around important rights for citizens with disabilities. All of the actions contained in the Plan are under the themes of ‘equal citizens’, ‘independence and choice’, ‘participation’ and ‘maximise potential’. ■ People with disabilities should be free from discrimination; supported to live the life they choose; live ordinary lives in ordinary places, participating in the life of the community; and are enabled to reach their full potential. ■ Under the plan each Govt. Dept has to play a role in ensuring that the services it provides are available to all citizens including people with a disability. This ensures that a whole of Government/ joined up approach is being taken in relation to people with a disability to enable them to participate as fully as possible in their local communities.

NEW STANDARDS FOR RESIDENTIAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ■ We have put in place a new regime of standards for designated centres which include residential services provided to persons with disabilities. ■ As and from November 2013 HIQA are empowered to undertake investigations as to the safety, quality and standards of these residential services. ■ This has been called for by the disability sector for a number of years. The sector was widely consulted in the drawing up of the new standards. ■ HIQA will have the power to inspect and investigate these services and the settings in which they are provided. ■ The emphasis will be on supports that may be necessary to ensure that the unique and complex needs of each individual person are met in an appropriate manner by service providers and their staff, so that people may be able, as far as possible, to avail of supports they need at home or in their own community.

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MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING EARMARKED ■ Despite serious resource pressures overall, funding of €90 million has been made available since 2012 up to end 2014, which has been specifically ear-marked for mental health ■ This funding will be earmarked to further strengthen Community Mental Health Teams for adults, children, older people, intellectual disability, to develop forensic services, provision of psychological services) and suicide prevention. ■ 890 posts (mainly Allied Health Professionals) have been approved for mental health. ■ Funding is included in the HSE Capital Plan to provide for the development of a new 120 bed hospital to replace the existing Central Mental Hospital and four new Intensive Care Rehabilitation Units at Portrane, Cork, Mullingar, and HSE West.

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT SERVICES ■ We have increased bed capacity for child and adolescent inpatient services resulting in a decrease of almost 60% in admissions of children to adult units. ■ In December 2013 the interim 6 bed unit in St. Loman’s Hospital Ground Palmerstown will be completed. This will increase the total number of child and adolescent beds to 66. Currently 44 beds are operational and it is planned to have all of the 66 beds operational in the 1st Quarter of 2014. ■ The Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Facility at Cherry Orchard, Dublin has recently opened and a number of Child and Adolescent Community Mental Health Teams have moved in to the new premises. It is expected that the Day Hospital will be in operation by the end of the year.

ADULT SERVICES ■ I was delighted to see the Phoenix Care Centre, Grangegorman, a 54-bed long stay facility, officially opened in January this year. ■ Construction has been completed on the acute in-patient psychiatric unit at Beaumont Hospital to replace the unit at St. Ita's, Portrane. It is expected that the facility, which is currently being equipped, will be ready for occupation before the end of the year.


Kathleen Lynch promoting the Yellow Flag Award

■ I am proud of the work that we have done in bringing about a scheme redress and compensation for women who were former residents of Magdalene Laundries. ■ Sorting this problem out was a priority of mine when Labour came into office in 2011.

NEW LAW TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRED CAPACITY The new Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill is a ground-breaking piece of legislation which proposes a comprehensive reform of the law on capacity in line with the Government’s commitment in the Programme for Government. This new Bill when enacted will be a key stepping stone towards ratification by Ireland of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

NATIONAL CARERS’ STRATEGY The development of a National Carers’ Strategy ‘to support and to address issues of concern’ is a key commitment in the current Programme for Government.The National Carers’ Strategy was published in 2012.

Kathleen Lynch TD

Kathleen Lynch TD at launch of the Samaritans new Freephone Number 116 123

Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People

Constituency Office of Kathleen Lynch T.D. 1st Floor,Heron House, Blackpool Retail Park, Blackpool, Cork.

Tel: 021 4399930 / 021 4212463 Fax: 021 4215060 Email:

Ministerial report from Kathleen Lynch TD