Deer Lodge Mental Health Unit in Killarney is expected to open by the end March.
The HSE told last week’s meeting of the Southern Health Forum, in response to a question from Fianna Fáil Cllr John Joe Culloty that the opening is dependent on an agreement on staffing levels and also on staff recruitment.
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris is welcoming the opening announcement, saying despite waiting over two years the news is welcome to the under resourced mental health service.
HSE says management has already met with staff representative associations and a proposal on staffing has been put forward for their consideration.
The HSE’s National Recruitment Service indicates that they have sufficient numbers on the Healthcare Assistant panel for Kerry to meet the requirements of Deer Lodge.
The mental health services are reviewing the individual care plans of each of the residents and updating these in advance of the move to Deer Lodge.
The commissioning of all equipment, systems and services in this new state of the art facility is underway, which will include a comprehensive training schedule for all staff involved.
The 40-bed mental health facility was completed in early 2016 at a cost of €13million.
It was built primarily as a replacement unit for the existing O’Connor Unit in Killarney.