PNA SAYS MINISTER MUST COMMIT TO SUSTAINABLE FUNDING FOR THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF ‘A VISION FOR CHANGE’
Commenting today (Thursday Jan.24th) of the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the publication of the ‘A Vision for Change’ strategy for mental health services, Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) Deputy General Secretary, Seamus Murphy said the government must commit to providing sustainable funding and the recruitment of front line psychiatric nurses if it is serious about delivering on Vision for Change.
Mr. Murphy said that while the PNA welcomed the commitment by Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health, Kathleen Lynch, of €35m for the development of mental health, she must ensure that this investment is sustained over the coming years in order to finally implement ‘Vision for Change’ after seven years of delays and broken promises.
‘Psychiatric nurses are the lynchpin in the delivery of community mental health services which are at the heart of ‘Vision for Change’. Minister Lynch must acknowledge the disproportionate cut which the mental health services suffered in staff numbers in 2012 as a result of retirements, the recruitment moratorium on nurses and where posts intended for community services have been diverted elsewhere.’
‘Any serious implementation of ‘Vision for Change’ will require the recruitment of psychiatric nurses to fill key posts and replace those who have left the system.’
‘Properly staffed and adequately resourced community services are crucial in helping people recover from mental health issues and so prevent hospitalisation. If the Minister is serious about the investment in community services then psychiatric nursing posts must be replaced urgently in order to develop and build community mental health teams, including specialist child and adolescent services, as outlined in ‘Vision for Change’ and the Programme for Government,’ he said.
Media Contact: Seamus Murphy, Dep.Gen Sec 087-2646966 /Derek Cunningham 0862430535