As at the end of October 2018, there were 189 persons diagnosed as living with Alzheimers or Dementia within the community, 5 within St Bernard's Hospital and in respect of ERS facilities the information is as follows: 

Mount Alvernia 68

John Cochrane Ward 22

Calpe Ward 10

Hillsides 48

John Mackintosh Home 31

Mental health care

Two Consultant Psychiatrists have been employed by the GHA, since January 2012,one in February 2013 and one in January 2014, the former retired from the service.

As the Honourable Gentleman will note the number of Mental Health Nurses has increased from 28 as at 2011 to 31 and the number of Consultant Psychiatrists posts from 2 as at 2011 to 4.5 posts in 2018.

The average waiting time to see a Psychologist was eight weeks in September 2018.

These waiting times compare favourably with other European countries, where the target is for 90% of people referred for psychological therapy to be seen within eighteen weeks. Further, in cases where a referral is classified as urgent, a member of our Community Mental Health team will make contact with the patient within 24 hours of the referral being received.

It pleases me greatly to report to this House that the average waiting time to see a Psychologist has now been reduced to six weeks. This Mr Speaker, is testament to this Government's unwavering commitment and care towards our Mental Health Services.

In addition, Mr Speaker, we have contracted an additional Counsellor to provide extra weekly sessions; further, the current Counsellor, and Chartered Counselling Psychologist have increased their sessions by an extra day each.

July 2017 saw the introduction and development within our community mental health team for crisis and outreach services, comprising of 3 mental welfare offices. This new service aims to provide continued support for individuals known to the mental health team when in crisis in order to prevent admission, or if admission is required to support the discharge process. As announced in November 2018, the service has been restructured to comprise of 4 Approved Mental Health Professionals.

It is worth noting, Mr Speaker, that an average of 20 per cent of appointments offered to see Psychologists are not attended and are not cancelled in advance. This further stretches resources in a field where, unlike with other health professionals, appointments may last for a full hour.

Further, I was delighted, and proud to announce, first in this year's budget address, and again in October of 2018, the introduction of Gibraltar's very first Child and Adolescent Psychology Service, which will be commencing in January of 2019.

Patients are routinely seen by Consultant Psychiatrists as follows;

An average of 141 patients are seen every month, including an average of 10 new patients.

Of these, an average of 136 patients are seen once a month, 2 patients are seen once a week, and 3 patients are seen fortnightly.

The frequency of the visits are determined by the Consultant Psychiatrists during initial consultation, depending on the individual patient's needs.

There was one occasion during the beginning of August 2018 when clinics were compromised, which resulted in some appointments being cancelled. These, however, were re-scheduled for the following week.