Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said he is deeply concerned about the fact that funding approval for the upgraded Grenville Mental Health Crisis House in Clonmel is still waiting to be signed off by the HSE. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the HSE’s Head of Estates, Jim Curran, confirmed to him in a parliamentary reply that while the new design for the proposed upgrade is undergoing a review, the tender process for the project cannot proceed because funding has yet to be confirmed under the HSE Capital Plan for 2019. The HSE also confirmed as part of the reply that the review of the design will not complete until at least Quarter 3 of this year:
“Confirmation that funding to allow the tender process to go ahead has yet to be approved is extremely worrying; particularly in light of the fact that we now know the HSE will have a deficit this year of at least €116 million even before this service is given the green light.
We must have tender approval for an upgraded Mental Health Crisis House as a matter of urgency.
I made this explicitly clear to the Minister of State for Mental Health the last time we met.
On that occasion there was a clear recognition on all sides that the situation which currently exists simply cannot go on.
Indeed, there was also recognition that in psychiatric bed terms, the South-East has gone from being “bed rich and resource poor to bed poor and resource poor.”
That is why the idea of expanding the service at Granville was raised as an interim solution to the crisis in mental health services we are experiencing in Tipperary.
Outside of extending the Clonmel Crisis House, we had the appalling vista of having to wait at least 6-7 years for any kind of restructuring of psychiatric services in our health area, CHO 5; a timeframe that was confirmed by the HSE representatives at that meeting.
This should make it clear that we simply cannot accept any further delays in terms of funding approval,” concluded Deputy McGrath.