Minister Jim Daly

  • An Erris Senator has responded to assurances given by Minister for Older People Jim Daly and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring in relation to Belmullet District Hospital.

    Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly told the Dail yesterday evening that Belmullet District Hospital will not be downgraded under his watch.

    It came as concerns over the facility and Aras Deirbhle were raised by Fianna Fail Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary yesterday on a Topical Issue.

    Minister Daly said that there will be no downgrading of facilities for older people while he is in office and that includes Belmullet.

    However he said he cannot stand over staff being allocated to empty beds if that is proven to be the case.

    Minister Daly has also confirmed that he will visit the hospital at the end of this month, or in the very early days of July.

    The assurances from Minister Daly were welcomed this morning by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring. He says that it is a case of some people trying to make political gain out of a situation that is simply not happening.  

    However Sinn Fein Senator Rose Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that the responses from Minister Daly and Minister Ring were not adequate and questions remain unanswered.

    She says she wants to know if there will be 20 beds in place at Belmullet District Hospital at the end of this process and also why GPs cannot make referrals to the hospital and further to that, why referrals cannot be made from the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital to Belmullet.

    Senator Conway-Walsh outlined her remaining concerns to Midwest News this lunchtime.

  • There were heated exchanges in the Dail today between Roscommon Fianna Fail Deputy Eugene Murphy and Minister with responsibility for Older People Jim Daly over the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.

    Deputy Murphy says every attempt is being made at present to move a resident at the unit to a private nursing home, despite assurances that no patient would be moved before a review of the services there is complete. The review is due to get underway in January.

    Minister Daly told Deputy Murphy that neither he, nor the Roscommon TD are clinicians and therefore can’t decide what is in the best interests of residents.

  • The Government is to launch a €3 million mental health fund, to provide grants to community organisations to help combat loneliness.

    The Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly has secured the funding, separate from the HSE's mental health budget, for community-based projects to help combat loneliness, which has been described as "an epidemic" by Erris-based GP and Senator Dr Keith Swanick.

    This was one of the recommendations of the taskforce on loneliness, chaired by Senator Swanick and Sean Moynihan of the Alone charity.

    Senator Swanick says community group will be able to submit applications for grants of between €5,000 and €100,000 for local projects based on mental wellbeing, and alleviating loneliness, and he's welcomed the allocation of €3 million, following on from the taskforce report....

  • There is no intention at present to reduce the bed capacity at Belmullet District Hospital.

    That was confirmed today by the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly to Midwest Radio News.

    The Minister visited the District hospital yesterday and outlined the same to staff and management there, and to the community members that had gathered in support of the facility.

    He said while the HSE had decided to temporarily reduce the number of beds in Belmullet from 20 to 15, due to budget overruns across the region, he has asked them to reconsider that decision, as he says he is convinced that there is demand for 20 beds at t Belmullet District hospital.

    He added that demand for step down hospital care is wider than the Erris region, and said that the 20 beds in Belmullet are sustainable, however, anyone being discharged from Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar, from whatever part of the county that requires such care, will be offered it in Belmullet.  

    There was some controversy yesterday over the reaction of some government representatives to the protest in support of the hospital organised  by the local action committee in support of Belmullet District Hospital.

    Nonetheless, Minister Daly is clear that he recognises the need for 20 beds at the facility.

    On our lunchtime news today at 1pm – we will have two Oireachtas members that were in Belmullet yesterday  - Minister for Community and Rural Development Michael Ring, and Senator Rose Conway Walsh.



  • The Government has confirmed that committments given in 2015 in relation to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will be honoured.

     Roscommon-based Minister Denis Naughten has received a letter from the Minister for Mental Health & Older People Jim Daly, confirming that the Rosalie Unit will continue to form part of the service delivery for older people.

    This comes as a welcome development for the residents of the unit and their families, as a senior HSE manager had indicated recently that the facility may close.

    Minister Daly points out that the matter of the best interests of the current residents of the Rosalie Unit is a separate issue, and independent assessments of each resident will be carried out to assess the most appropriate long-term care plan for each individual.

    That's perfectly acceptable, according to Liam Walsh, who's an advocate on behalf of resident's families.

    Following a packed public meeting on the issue again on Monday night in Castlerea, Liam Walsh has welcomed this letter from Minister Daly, which he says is great news for the current residents, and those who might need the unit in the future.

  • The Department of Health has opened a new Mental Health Hub in Castlerea.

    CAMHS Connect is an online service, based at the former Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, and is one of various new e-Mental Health initiatives to modernise mental health care nationally.

    The Department of Health says it will provide vastly-improved patient experiences, particularly during out-of-hours where currently a young person presenting to a facility with no on-duty psychiatrist must wait until one becomes available the next morning.

    With the assistance of doctors working from the new Hub, clinical support will be available around the clock to support health staff elsewhere to treat patients who present with mental health problems, via tele-psychiatry.

    It will also improve the support available to mental health teams across areas where there are gaps due to recruitment issues.

    Also on the same site in Castlerea at the former Rosalie Unit, a new Day Hospital will be for young people and a Day Hospital for Psychiatry of Later Life are being developed.

    Minister of State for Mental Health & Older People Jim Daly told Midwest News that this represents an investment of €2.6 million in mental health services in the Western region....