At my invitation, Minister with Responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly visited the Acute Mental Health Unit at Lakeview, Naas Hospital on his recent visit to Kildare.

I have been working with Management at Lakeview over the last year to progress their plans for a new unit on the grounds of Naas General Hospital.

The current 29 bed unit at Lakeview built in the late 1980s to cater for the population of Kildare West Wicklow of 135,000 at the time, is now operating at capacity and often has to utilise beds in adjoining counties to cater for the needs of Kildare patients.

Minister Jim Daly toured the current unit and saw and heard details of the plans for a new 50 bed unit that would include an intensive care unit as well as various levels of step down beds to cater for different levels of illness.  With a population now of 240,000 in Kildare West Wicklow, this new unit is very much needed.

On completion of the new unit, the current unit would be available to Naas General Hospital to increase capacity there which would also be a benefit of the development.

A feasibility study of the current and future sustainability and capacity of the unit is currently being undertaken and discussions on funding will take place after that.

I remain very supportive of this project and will continue to work with Management at Lakeview and my colleague Minister Jim Daly to progress the plans.