Minister Mary Butler welcomes commitments on mental health and older people in HSE National Service Plan 2021

Published on: 25 February 2021

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, TD has today welcomed the publication of the HSE National Service Plan 2021.

The National Service Plan sets out the priorities for health and social service delivery, including in the areas of mental health and older people, in line with funding made available by Government in Budget 2021.

Minister Butler states that “significant investment was made in mental health in Budget 2021 with the highest recorded budget in recent years. Mental health services will be reconfigured and improved through a number of priorities set out in the 2021 Plan. In particular, the Plan commits to commencing implementation of the new national mental health policy Sharing the Vision. This includes the development of a sustainable costed plan for Sharing the Vision to ensure it translates fully from policy to practice.

Also outlined in the Plan is a clear commitment to recruit additional mental health staff to enhance capacity across services. 123 new mental health staff in addition to 30 Individual Placement Support (IPS) employment specialists will be recruited this year. Of the 123 staff, 29 new posts will be appointed in child and adolescent mental health services to help tackle existing waiting lists. Priority has also been given to continue implementation of the national suicide reduction strategy Connecting for Life, following its extension from 2020 to 2024. The opening of the new national forensic mental health service this year, in addition to the development of crisis resolution teams, the progression of the clinical programmes and increasing provision of talk therapies are among many of the priorities outlined in the Plan.”

In relation to services for older people, Minister Butler continues that “the National Service Plan being launched today sets out to support older people to live in their own communities for as long as possible and improve their access to care. In 2021, 5 million additional home support hours will be delivered in communities across Ireland. The HSE will work in collaboration with the Department of Health to roll out a reformed model of service delivery for the development of a statutory home support scheme for the financing and regulation of home support services. Dedicated funding has also been allocated in 2021 to enhance community-based supports for people living with dementia, including the expansion of in-home day care, enhancing memory technology resource rooms and the appointment of additional dementia advisors.”

Minister Butler concluded that “the National Service Plan 2021 sets out the priorities required to drive reform of mental health and older people’s services so that all individuals get the right care at the right time. Minister Butler is deeply committed to ensuring that the actions set out in the Plan, as they relate to mental health and older people, result in improved outcomes for people accessing the services and for their families.