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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 198 - 211
 Header Item Nursing Home Accommodation
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Registration of Nurses
 Header Item Home Help Service Provision
 Header Item HSE Investigations
 Header Item General Practitioner Services
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Tourism Industry Issues
 Header Item National Lottery Funding Applications
 Header Item National Lottery Funding Applications
 Header Item Tourism Promotion
 Header Item Tourism Promotion

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 79 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 198 - 211

Nursing Home Accommodation

 198. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to the ability of St Brigid’s Nursing Home, Crooksling, County Dublin to accommodate up to 120 patients; that such numbers have been accommodated there in the past and that with very little upgrading and very little cost the same capacity remains; if he will ensure that Health Information Quality Authority reports and guidelines in respect of safety standards are not used as a self-fulfilling prophecy towards reduction of patients capacity; if he will further ensure the continued provision of adequate resources to maximise the capability of the nursing home with adequate staff in the future [57328/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch St. Brigid’s Nursing Home, Crooksling was registered as a designated centre for older people by the Health Information and Quality Authority on 25 June 2012.

Prior to registration, significant remedial works were carried out at St. Brigid’s to meet fire safety requirements. The Deputy will be aware that the upper units were closed as HSE considered them not to be in a good infrastructural condition.

The HSE has confirmed that 66 beds will remain at present in the newly upgraded lower units and where vacancies arise they will be filled to maintain this capacity. In addition, in-patient respite care and day care services are continuing to be provided at St. Brigid’s.

Finally I would like to assure the Deputy should there be a concern for the future of any public nursing home, the HSE will engage fully in a local consultation process with all stakeholders before any decision is taken.

Health Services Provision

 199. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the full details of the service level agreement entered into by the Health Service Executive Dublin North East with a company (details supplied); if he will confirm his assent for this agreement; if he will confirm his awareness of and assent for the work to be undertaken by the company; if he will confirm his awareness of and assent for the terms of reference of this agreement and the cost terms of the contract to the HSE; if he will confirm that the contract cost is fixed at €125,000 plus VAT at 23%; if he will advise if there is any other financial consideration involved that is a payment or payments based on a percentage of the so called savings identified and or delivered as a result of the work undertaken by this outside consultancy across all three identified hospital groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57331/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I have referred this matter to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. Service Level Agreements are formal arrangements between the HSE and a provider for the provision of services to service users under specific terms and conditions. The HSE in allocating funding to such agencies is conscious of its obligation to ensure that the resources available to it are used in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health and welfare of the public.

Registration of Nurses

 200. Deputy Liam Twomey Information on Liam Twomey Zoom on Liam Twomey asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the steps being taken by the Health Service Executive to ensure that nurses have access to six weeks adaptation placement courses available in a recognised paediatric hospital to allow nurses to upskill and receive An Bord Altranais registration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57342/12]

 201. Deputy Liam Twomey Information on Liam Twomey Zoom on Liam Twomey asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if his attention has been drawn to the fact that paediatric nurses who wish to come back to nursing cannot get An Bord Altranais registration because there are no adaptation placement courses available for them and therefore they are not allowed work as nurses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57343/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 200 and 201 together.

  The information regarding adaptation placement courses for paediatric nurses who wish to return to general nursing is a service matter. I have forwarded your request to the HSE for direct response.

Home Help Service Provision

 202. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if home help hours will be restored in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if he will expedite a response.  [57344/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

HSE Investigations

 203. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the timeframe involved for the National Incident Management Team to complete its review of the circumstances surrounding the death of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; the names of those appointed to investigate this matter and their respective qualifications; the date on which this work commenced; the number of occasions on which the family were consulted; the date the report will be completed; if the report will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57345/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly It would not be customary for my Department to be routinely advised of deaths which have occurred in hospitals, nor to be informed of inquiries being carried out by the Health Service Executive (HSE) into such deaths.

  It is HSE policy that incidents that result in death or serious injury are investigated thoroughly using systems analysis investigation methodology. The review of the care and treatment of the named person (RIP) is being carried out in accordance with this policy.

  A local Incident Management Team has been established chaired by a senior manager and comprising of clinicians, service managers and competent investigators. The Team held its first meeting on 10th December last and is currently reviewing the documentation and care processes involved in this case.

  This aspect of the investigation will be completed shortly, after which the Team will schedule a series of interviews with key staff involved in the care of the named person (RIP). In order to complete the investigation and to give full consideration to all aspects of the case the Team will offer to meet with the family as part of the investigation process.

  The Consultant involved in the case met with the family approximately one week before the inquest. Local management have also offered to meet with the family and the family are being kept informed of the progress of the investigation being undertaken by the local Incident Management Team.

  The investigation will be overseen by the National Incident Management Team. On completion of its investigation the Team will forward its report to the National Incident Management Team for its consideration, including any recommendations that may be required to put in place arising from this sad case. The report will be shared with the family on its completion.

  I hope the Deputy will understand that further comment at this time would be inappropriate.

General Practitioner Services

 204. Deputy Liam Twomey Information on Liam Twomey Zoom on Liam Twomey asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to ensure equal access to general practitioner services in all Health Service Executive regions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57358/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Government is embarking on a major reform programme for the health system. The aim of this reform is to deliver a single-tier health service that will deliver equal access to care based on need, not income.

  A fundamental element in the reform process involves significant strengthening of primary care services to deliver universal primary care (UPC) with the removal of cost as a barrier to access to General Practitioner (GP) services.

  UPC will be achieved on a phased basis over the lifetime of the Government. The first phase will provide for the extension of access to GP services without fees to persons with illnesses or disabilities to be prescribed by regulations under the new legislation. The legislation is currently being drafted by the Attorney General's office and is expected to be published shortly.

  At present, approximately 40% of the population are eligible for free GP care under the General Medical Services (GMS) Scheme. The current GMS contract stipulates that General Practitioners "shall provide for eligible persons, on behalf of the HSE, all proper and necessary treatment of a kind usually undertaken by a GP and not requiring special skill or experience of a degree which GPs cannot reasonably be expected to possess"

  The Programme for Government provides for the introduction of a new GMS contract with an increased emphasis on the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. It is envisaged that the new contract, when finalised, will focus on prevention and will include a requirement for GPs to provide care as part of integrated multidisciplinary Primary Care Teams.

  The Department and the HSE are currently examining the changes that need to be made to the GMS contract to facilitate the introduction of Universal Primary Care.

The Health (Provision of General Practitioner Services) Act 2012 came into effect on 12th March 2012. The Act provides for the elimination of restrictions on GPs wishing to obtain contracts to treat public patients under the GMS Scheme by opening up access to all fully qualified and vocationally trained GPs. By 30th November 2012, 97 GPs had been granted a GMS contract by the HSE under the provisions of the Act. 33 further applications are currently being processed.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 205. Deputy Liam Twomey Information on Liam Twomey Zoom on Liam Twomey asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will instruct all hospitals to abolish catchment areas, publish the waiting time for all consultants and publish the efficiency measurements of all hospitals in view of the fact that this will allow general practitioners to refer to the most efficient hospitals and drive the concept of money follows the patient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57359/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The Deputy has raised a number of issues with regard to hospitals.

In relation to the collection of waiting time data, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) collects information on (a) hospital in-patients and day case waiting times and (b) outpatient waiting times. In relation to in-patient and daycases, information on the median (average) waiting time in each hospital for the top surgical procedures on the waiting list is published on the NTPF website. In regard to outpatients, the numbers of patients waiting for a first appointment at a consultant-led clinic, by hospital, by time band are published and available on the NTPF website and through the HSE Performance Reports. HIQA's Tallaght Hospital Investigation Report 2012 recommended the benchmarking and publication of outpatient department (OPD) appointment wait times across all hospitals at a national, regional, local and consultant level. National, regional and local wait times are now available and I am advised by the NTPF that it is the intention to publish consultant level waiting time during the course of 2013/14. In relation to the efficiency of hospitals, the HSE currently publishes two separate monthly reports addressing the efficiency of all hospitals. The Performance Report is a monthly report published on the HSE website and it details performance against the HSE Service Plan and contains some hospital level information. HealthStat is a comprehensive databank of performance information which provides detailed monthly results from hospitals and from Local Health Offices responsible for providing health and social care services in the community. The results are also published on the HSE website.

In 2013, HealthStat will be replaced by CompStat, which is a performance management and reporting system which will operate on a monthly cycle. It is built around a balanced accountability framework of Quality, Access and Resources wherein each HSE Region will be the locus of control. It supports the migration towards autonomous hospital groups and incorporates a score-card performance report on a suite of relevant metrics. CompStat will focus on Acute Hospitals metrics from an In-patient, Out-patient and Day-case perspective and on Community metrics from a Local Health Office representative of all care groups perspective. CompStat will deliver higher quality efficiency measurements for all hospitals and community services.

The Programme for Government commits to introducing a prospective-based "Money Follows the Patient" (MFTP) funding system to replace the current block grant allocation system. Under MFTP, hospitals will be encouraged to provide services more efficiently and will be paid on a fair and transparent basis for the needs they address, the quantity and quality of the services they provide and the outcomes they deliver. They will be liberated, subject to overall budgetary ceilings, to pursue the most cost-effective means of achieving this standard of performance. A Hospital Financing Subgroup, established under the auspices of the Universal Health Insurance Implementation Group, has prepared draft policy and implementation proposals, and these are currently being considered by the Minister.

With regard to catchment areas, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Departmental Funding

 206. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will provide in tabular form, the total amount of capital funding his Department has allocated to Waterford for the years 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57296/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The following information is available within my Department:

Sector
2011

Capital Expenditure for Waterford
  2012

Capital Allocation for Waterford
Regional Airports €795,582 €3,271,500*
National Sustainable Transport Office €745,633 €619,500
Public Transport Investment €1,892,000 €660,000
Sports Capital Programme €400,000 €1,018,250
   

  * €3,271,500 is the total allocation for Waterford Airport for the years 2011 to 2014. Drawdown to date in 2012 is €670,831.

Further information is available as follows:

  In relation to capital funding for Roads the information sought by the Deputy is outlined in the road allocation booklets which are available in the Dáil Library.

  In relation to capital funding for Tourism, the matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply in this regard. Please contact my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.

Tourism Industry Issues

 207. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if his attention has been drawn to the potential in the hostel tourism both nationally and internationally; if he will consider developing this industry in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57302/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's Question to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply. Will the Deputy please advise my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.

National Lottery Funding Applications

 208. Deputy John Browne Information on John Browne Zoom on John Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will provide a detailed explanation to a club (details supplied) in County Wexford on the reason it was refused national lottery funding in 2012 for club developments in view of the fact that it met all of the criteria required.  [57339/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring My Department  has no record of an application being received under the 2012 SCP from the organisation referred to by the Deputy.

National Lottery Funding Applications

 209. Deputy John Browne Information on John Browne Zoom on John Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason a National Lottery grant application was refused in respect of an organisation in County Wexford (details supplied) that caters for a population of more than 4,000 people in the County; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57340/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The application received from the club referred to by the Deputy was unsuccessful as it was invalid. It was deemed invalid on two grounds. Firstly, the applicant did not sign the section of the application form certifying, among other things, that the information supplied was correct and that the club would not deny anybody access to the facilities. Secondly, the evidence of title to the property where the proposed facility was to be located did not state that the applicant's lease is registered in the Property Registration Authority or is pending registration. These requirements were clearly set out in the application form and the guide to filling out the application form.

Tourism Promotion

 210. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the nature of the €230,000 grant to Kells Town Council for the creation of an interactive display with a virtual Book of Kells, the programme from which the funding was provided; if he will provide a breakdown of the costings for the project and if cheaper alternatives were considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57350/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the matter to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy.   Will the Deputy please contact my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.

Tourism Promotion

 211. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Book of Kells iPad app available for download at €11.99, created by Trinity College Dublin, which provides a virtual interface with the book would provide a cheaper alternative than a customised interactive display which is currently being funded by his Department for Kells Town Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57351/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The matter raised is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland.  I have referred the matter to Fáilte Ireland for direct reply to the Deputy. Will the Deputy please contact my private office if a reply is not received within ten working days.


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