HSE to overspend on mental health locally by €675,000

The Health Service Executive expects to overspend its budget for mental health services in counties Roscommon and Galway by €675,000 this year.

  A total of €63.72 million was allocated for running the Galway Roscommon Mental Health Service (GRMHS) in 2015, which equated to a €12 million reduction on the €75.83 million assigned in 2010.

  However, the minutes of a meeting of the Galway/Roscommon area mental health management team, held on September 30, reveal that it was anticipated that the budget would be significantly exceeded.

  The minutes, released under the Freedom of Information Act, note: “Forecast is that GRMHS will be €675,000 overspent by year-end. Increase as a result of signing off on recent recruitment, overtime, agency (staff).”

  The minutes say that John Meehan, the area manager for the GRMHS, “confirmed that going forward to year-end, no further maternity leave cover will be approved unless heads of disciplines make a case that need is required based on provision of a safe service.”

  The news comes at a time when a major review of mental health services in Co. Roscommon is ongoing.

  In August, the HSE appointed an external team to conduct the review, prompted partly because of allegations of ‘sexual contact’ at a care centre in Castlerea.

  The review began on August 28 and was due to take three months to complete, but the completion has been delayed because of the volume of staff who are to be interviewed.

  A HSE spokesman said: “At present, we do not have a definitive timeline. We expect to have a final copy of this report early in the New Year.”