Almost half of the budget allocated to the HSE in 2006 and 2007 to implement the mental health policy, A Vision for Change, has been spent on deficits in other areas, according to the Irish Mental Health Coalition (IMHC).
The HSE did set aside the €25 million each year, but then went ahead and spent it on other areas.
The HSE had the following excuse:
The balance of the funding from 2006 and 2007 was time delayed to address core deficits in existing Mental Health services
Bollocks says I. The money set aside was raided by the HSE to keep other things floating. Is that how earmarked money should be spent? This is an area that has suffered under investment for a long time and the HSE seams intent on ensuring it dosent get the investment.
I find my self completly agreeing with John Saunders, Chair of the IMHC
This situation is totally unacceptable. On the second anniversary of the plan it is clear it is floundering already due to a lack of Government commitment.
The Government has yet to set out an implementation plan two years into this programme.
Here are the IMHC recommendations:
• The HSE should finalise, adopt and publish an implementation plan for A Vision for Change as a matter of urgency. The plan should include explicit performance targets and indicators, timelines, and specific resource commitments across all recommendations in A Vision for Change
• The HSE should publish quarterly reports on progress in the implementation of A Vision for Change.
• The HSE should finalise the mental health catchment areas, and establish the mental health catchment area management teams.
• The Department of Health and Children and the HSE should publish an annual breakdown of capital and revenue spend (rather than allocation) in mental health, with spends on service expansions and improvements recommended in A Vision for Change clearly flagged.
• The provision of additional Child and Adolescent services and inpatient facilities must be implemented by the HSE in 2008.
The more I look into this the more annoyed I seam to get. Hopefully the Minister or Minister of State will respond later in the week.