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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 778-799
 Header Item National Maternity Hospital Administration
 Header Item Ministerial Meetings
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Nursing Home Services
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme
 Header Item Medical Aids and Appliances Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Rape Crisis Network Funding
 Header Item Respite Care Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Health Services Staff Training
 Header Item Disability Services Funding
 Header Item Disabilities Assessments
 Header Item Obesity Strategy
 Header Item Commencement of Legislation
 Header Item Respite Care Services Availability

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 970 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 778-799

National Maternity Hospital Administration

 778. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the agreement reached by his Department with St. Vincent's University Hospital, SVUH, in relation to the national maternity hospital; if, and the way in which under the terms of the agreement the national maternity hospital is to retain its status as a private or voluntary Catholic hospital; and the way in which and the way in which it is worded under the terms of the agreement, the ethos and values of an organisation (details supplied) is to be guaranteed. [25111/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The terms of the Mulvey agreement provide for the establishment of a new company which will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services. 

At present, work continues on the preparation of the legal framework to protect the State's significant investment in the new maternity hospital on the St Vincent's University Hospital campus.  This framework will also further underpin the operational and clinical independence of the hospital. 

I can assure the Deputy that care in the new maternity hospital will be delivered without religious, ethnic or other distinction and any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of the land will be carried out there..

Ministerial Meetings

 779. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if he has recently met with an organisation (details supplied); and if so, the outcome of the meeting. [25114/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I have not met recently with MS Ireland. I understand that the organisation was due to meet with my colleague, the Minister for Health last week; however the meeting had to be postponed due to Government business and has not yet been re-scheduled..

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 780. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the grants or financial supports that are available for groups seeking to purchase and install automated external defibrillators in public spaces, sports clubs and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25117/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Question No. 781 answered with Question No. 597.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 782. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of the progress to date in implementing a public access defibrillation programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25122/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris A national Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Steering group was established in 2017. The purpose of this project is to improve survival rates for those who suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest through the development and implementation of an out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy up to 2020.  This work will support the National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Community First Responder Ireland (CFR Ireland) in their commitment to improve clinical outcomes for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA). 

It is also considering how to improve Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest survival by strengthening the ‘Chain of Survival’ across Ireland.  National and international evidence and experience will be assessed to see if it can be applied in Ireland.   

The report is close to finalisation and it considers a range of measures to improve survival rates including defibrillation. It has considered the HIQA Health Technology Assessment on the cost effectiveness of a Public Access Defibrillator Programme. It notes that AEDs are more likely to have an impact on survival if people who work and live in the vicinity of the AED are CPR trained, informed of the AED location and that the existing AEDs are accessible.

It is anticipated that the report of the OHCA Steering group will provide advice to the HSE and the Department on the most effective ways of improving survival including the use of defibrillators in community settings.

Once the findings of the Steering group have been published, the relevant recommendations will be carefully considered by all parties..

Nursing Home Services

 783. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the regulations placed on nursing homes by HIQA for dementia patients; the way in which this differs from non-dementia patients; if there is a requirement for extra nursing and care workers for dementia patients; if there is a requirement for secured accommodation for dementia patients; the average extra cost for a nursing home to accept a dementia patient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25128/18]

 785. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of vacant places with secured accommodation in public nursing homes, private and voluntary nursing homes, respectively in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25130/18]

 786. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of secured accommodation places in public nursing homes, private and voluntary nursing homes, respectively in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25131/18]

 787. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of dementia patients on waiting lists for secured accommodation in public nursing homes private and voluntary nursing homes, respectively in each county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25132/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly I propose to take Questions Nos. 783 and 785 to 787, inclusive, together.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is the independent authority established under the Health Act 2007 to drive continuous improvement and to monitor safety and quality in Ireland’s health and personal social care services.   Since 2009 all nursing homes have been registered and inspected by HIQA for compliance with regulations and National Quality Standards.

The Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 require that registered providers must ensure that the number and skill mix of staff is appropriate having regard to the assessed needs of the residents and the size and layout of the designated centre.  The purpose of the regulations is to ensure proper standards apply to all designated centres, irrespective of whether the residents are cognitively impaired, therefore they make no specific reference to dementia or any other condition.

HIQA assesses whether residential services are providing high quality, safe and effective services and supports to all residents, and ensures that any issues or deficits are addressed. HIQA’s programme of both scheduled and unannounced inspections is aimed at ensuring that standards are maintained and where issues of non-compliance arise, that these are addressed and rectified.  Over the last number of years HIQA inspectors conducted thematic inspections of nursing homes focused on dementia care and this will continue.

The National Standards for Residential Care for Older People provide a framework for HIQA to assess the quality of service provided in nursing homes.  They place a strong focus on quality of life and a person-centred approach to care for all residents including those with dementia. 

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme commenced in 2009. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for the in most appropriate settings. Anyone who is assessed as requiring long-term nursing home care can avail of the scheme, regardless of age. The nursing home care provided under the scheme must be appropriate to meet the individual’s care needs. 

A fundamental principle enshrined in the legislation underpinning the Scheme is that of patient choice. Once a person receives approval for financial support, they can choose to enter any nursing home that is participating in the scheme in any part of the country, subject to the nursing home having an available bed and being able to cater for the person's particular needs, including their cognitive function. This applies to public, private and voluntary nursing homes alike.

In relation to costs, the price agreed between the National Treatment Purchase Fund and each nursing home participating in the NHSS is averaged to take account of the range of dependency levels of all residents.

There are a number of dementia specific residential care units across the country and most nursing homes will accommodate people living with dementia, however they may not have a secured dementia unit or dedicated dementia beds. While some people will enter long-term care with a formal diagnosis of dementia, others will develop dementia while they are resident in the nursing home.

A survey of nursing homes in Ireland, undertaken by the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre in 2014, reported that there were 54 Dementia Specific Units accommodating 1,034 people with dementia. Figures on the number of people with dementia in long-stay care range from between 40% and 50% (O’Shea et al, 2017) however this information is not collected on a regular basis. Information on the number of people with dementia requiring long-term care is also not centrally collated by the HSE.  .

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

 784. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the rules in relation to the fair deal scheme for nursing homes with regard to the prices agreed between nursing homes and the National Treatment Purchase Fund; if there is a difference between a dementia patient and a non-dementia patient; if there is a difference in the subvention provided to nursing homes for accepting a dementia patient and a non-dementia patient as a consequence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25129/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) negotiates with proprietors of registered nursing homes to reach agreement in relation to the maximum price that will be charged by each nursing home for the provision of long-term residential care services to residents participating in the Nursing Homes Support Scheme.

The process of setting prices with individual private and voluntary nursing homes is commonly referred to as the NTPF pricing mechanism. The NTPF has statutory independence in the performance of its function and negotiates with each nursing home on an individual basis.

For each registered nursing home a single price is agreed for all residents participating in the scheme regardless of the level of dependency and need for care. The NTPF assert that existing prices are averaged to take account of the levels of dependency that currently prevail among nursing home residents, and this already includes a significant proportion of people with dementia..

Question Nos. 785 to 787, inclusive, answered with Question No. 783.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

 788. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if a person (details supplied) has received a hearing aid from the HSE. [25133/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 789. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the detail of the recent changes to children's eye care services for children aged 12 to 16 years of age; the impact these changes have had on the provision of care for this cohort; his views on whether commercial opticians have the necessary expertise to treat children with specialised ongoing ophthalmic conditions; if the reintroduction of vouchers to help cover the cost of glasses for this age cohort will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25135/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Provision

 790. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if concerns (details supplied) regarding type 1 diabetes services in University Hospital Kerry will be addressed; if the solutions suggested will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25140/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive (HSE) to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Rape Crisis Network Funding

 791. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if funding for a rape crisis outreach centre in County Meath will be provided (details supplied). [25141/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Respite Care Services Provision

 792. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of an application for respite care by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25142/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy..

Health Services

 793. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention or the attention of the HSE has been drawn to the case and or treatment of a person (details supplied) at Waterford University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25143/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly I am not aware of the case referenced by the Deputy and have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Health Services Staff Training

 794. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if in the development of a healthcare assistance apprentice programme an organisation (details supplied) will be centrally involved in the development and implementation of it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25144/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Disability Services Funding

 795. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the cut in funding to an organisation (details supplied) will be reversed. [25146/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.  

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy..

Disabilities Assessments

 796. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the case of a child (details supplied) waiting to be assessed will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25150/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.  

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy..

Obesity Strategy

 797. Deputy Denise Mitchell Information on Denise Mitchell Zoom on Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when a monitoring body will be set up to monitor the voluntary codes of practice on the marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages; the timeframe for the designation of the body; and the timeframe for the development of guidelines for implementation of the code. [25168/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The national Obesity Policy and Action Plan (OPAP) was approved by the Government in 2016. The OPAP recommended that a code of practice for food and beverages promotion, marketing and sponsorship be developed, implemented and evaluated in conjunction with the food industry, HSE, Dept of Children and Youth Affairs, safefood, Food Safety Authority of Ireland and advertiser organisations. The OPAP premised this recommendation by providing that 'already there are many examples of the food industry making positive contributions to the prevention of obesity and it is essential to capitalise and expand on such initiatives'.

  The group that developed the Codes involved representatives from the food industry, advertising sector, statutory agencies, and various Government Departments. It was chaired by the former CEO of the statutory Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The Codes of Practice concerned were published in February.

  The Codes of Practice are one of the suite of actions set out in the OPAP in the knowledge that no single sector or agency, or no single action, is able to solve this issue on their own. Everyone and every sector has a role to play in those solutions.

  Section 10 of the Codes of Practice provides for a governance framework for these codes. It stipulates that the Codes 'will be monitored for compliance and effectiveness by a monitoring body designated by the Minister for Health'  and that the Codes 'will be underpinned by guidance developed by the monitoring body with respect to its application'  It is not possible at this juncture to specify a timeframe for the development of the latter; but work on the establishment of the monitoring body is underway, and I expect that significant progress will be made in this regard in the coming months.

Commencement of Legislation

 798. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the sections and parts of all legislation brought forward by his Department in each of the past four years that have yet to be commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25180/18]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the following table.

Acts passed since 2014 Sections not in force Current position 
Civil Liability (Amendment)

Act 2017 - Part 4
Note: The Minister for Health is responsible for Part 4 of the Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017. Part 4 of the Act provides for supports for open disclosure of patient safety incidents.  It is intended to commence Part 4 of the Act by the end of June 2018. 
Misuse of Drugs (Amendment)

Act 2016
Sections 4, 5 and 7(a) and (b).  Sections 4 and 5 facilitate the commencement of provisions of the Irish Medicines (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2006, transferring responsibility for the issuing of controlled drug licences from the Minister for Health to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).  Sections 7(a) and (b) revoke certain statutory instruments which were confirmed under the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015.  These sections will be commenced when new regulations are made. 
Children and Family

Relationships Act 2015
Note: The Minister for Health is responsible for Parts 2 and 3 of the Act. Regulations to facilitate the commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 are being prepared. My Department is also working to resolve a small number of technical issues in order to ensure that the processes associated with Parts 2 and 3 of the Act can be commenced. 
Health (General

Practitioner Service) Act 2015
Section 2 - Amendment of

section 58 of Health Act 1970. 
Consultations are ongoing with the Office of the Attorney General (AGO). A decision will be made on

commencement on the conclusion of the consultation process. 
Assisted Decision-Making

(Capacity) Act 2015 
Note: The Minister for Health is responsible for Part 8 of the Act.



Section 82, except insofar as it relates to the definition of “Minister”,

sections 83 – 90,

section 91(1), except insofar as it relates to definitions of “Code of Practice” and “Working Group”,

sections 91(3) – 91(14),

sections 92 and 93.
Part 8 of the Act provides a legislative framework for advance healthcare directives (AHDs).

Section 91(2) of the Act was commenced on 17 October 2016 and a multidisciplinary Working Group was subsequently established by the Minister for Health to assist in the development of the Code of Practice on the AHD provisions.  The Working Group will submit its recommendations for the Code of Practice on the AHD provisions to the Director of the Decision Support Service. The Director shall, with the consent of the Minister for Health, publish a Code of Practice, based (whether in whole or in part) on those recommendations. The preparation of this Code of Practice will facilitate the subsequent commencement of Part 8 of the Act, pertaining to AHDs, in its entirety. 
Health Identifiers Act 2014 Sections 7(2)-(6), 10(3),

11(1)-(5), (7), 12-20, 24, 35-39. 
The Act provides the legal basis for the introduction of a system of unique health identifiers for (a) individuals and (b) health services providers.  It was always the intention that implementation of the health identifier project would be on a phased basis. Accordingly, the commencement of the Act's provisions, in a timely and relevant way, is intended to enable its proper implementation.  The initial implementation focus is on the identifier for individuals and, necessary provisions in the Act, in that area, have been commenced. 
Health (General

Practitioner Service) Act 2014
Sections 2, 3(a) and 9 - Amendments to Health Act 1970 and other issues.  Following the conclusion of

consultations with the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) and discussions

with the HSE, a decision will be made on commencement on these sections. 
Health (Miscellaneous Provisions)

Act 2014
Sections 6(a)(iii), 12(b), insofar as it relates to the insertion of subsection (1B) of section 26 of the

Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, section 21. 
Section 6(a)(iii), part of section 12(b) and section 21 relate to the proposed division of the profession of radiographer into the two professions of radiographer and radiation therapist.  The sections can be commenced when CORU (the statutory regulator for health and social care professionals) has made the necessary bye laws.



It is envisaged that commencement of these sections (6(a)(iii), part of 12(b), 21) will take place during 2018.

Public Health (Sunbeds) Act

2014
Section 14.   Section 14 relates to training in the use of sunbeds by sunbed business operators or their employees. This matter is still under consideration. 

Respite Care Services Availability

 799. Deputy Mary Butler Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of respite beds available to persons with intellectual disabilities in County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25193/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

The Programme for Partnership Government states that the Government wishes to provide more accessible respite care to facilitate full support for people with a disability.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. .


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