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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 552-569
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Hospital Data
 Header Item Undefined
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Health Screening Programmes
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Nursing Home Accommodation
 Header Item Voluntary Sector
 Header Item Disability Services Funding
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Occupational Therapy
 Header Item Disability Services Provision
 Header Item Disability Services Provision

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 999 No. 2
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 100 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 552-569

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 552. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the additional Covid-19 related funding provided to Traveller healthcare projects to enable them to return to work safely in tabular form. [30244/20]

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

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 553. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the additional Covid-19 related funding provided to projects delivered through the HSE social inclusion to enable them to return to work safely in tabular form. [30245/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Frankie Feighan): Information on Frankie Feighan Zoom on Frankie Feighan The Covid-19 pandemic has created a time of uncertainty and anxiety for everyone and particularly for those who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction. The restructuring of services, social distancing measures and self-isolation can be particularly difficult for those who are trying to remain drug or alcohol free and for those who are in recovery.

The Government plan for living with Covid-19 details how non-Covid health and social care services will be resumed, especially during the challenging winter months. This includes planning for the safe resumption of drug and alcohol services, including community-based services, residential programmes and recovery support groups.

The Department has set up a working group with drug and alcohol service providers to develop a 'Framework for the Restoration of Drug and Alcohol Services', in a planned and appropriate manner in line with public health advice. The working group has identified issues on which guidance and supports are required.

I recently met with representatives of drug and alcohol task forces to discuss continued support for their work in identifying and responding to local needs. I confirmed my approval of additional funding to support the resumption of drug and alcohol services including the adaptation of services, premises, online meetings and personal protective equipment. The details of this additional funding will be communicated to the task forces shortly.

Disability Services Provision

 554. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly when the capacity review of disability services completed in 2019 will be published. [30246/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte In line with Sláintecare vision it is essential, that over the next number of years, the State moves to a population-based planning approach, based on demographic and geographic considerations, that reflects both the health and social care needs of those within our population, including those who require specialist disability services. This approach provides an opportunity to prioritise and design the health and social care services that need to be developed for each region, so the population can get the right care, in the right place, at the right time in line with HIQA standards and available resources.

The Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements up to 2032 is a Sláintecare Action Plan deliverable. The Report is currently being finalised it is intended that it will be presented to Government for consideration.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 555. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if occupational therapists and speech and language therapists in Cheeverstown are being reallocated to track and tracing. [30257/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future,  recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

   The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

  As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Hospital Data

 556. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly further to Parliamentary Question No. 204 of 23 September 2020, the hours of operation of each such acute hospital stroke unit in tabular form; if it is a consultant led service; the number of staff assigned full-time or otherwise to each such unit; if they are doctors, nurses and or physiotherapists; if there is no out-of-hours service provided, the locations the patients are then referred to; the number referred since January 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30265/20]

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

Undefined

 557. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly his views on a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30291/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler The safety and protection of all those who may be at risk of harm or abuse is an important priority for the Government. I understand the report referred to by the Deputy was published last week on 8 October. It considers the funding model for health and social care, including the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, as well as wider issues of importance to older people, such as financial abuse. Reports such as these are important in contributing towards the debate in these and other policy areas that are of national and inter-sectoral interest.

While the report’s scope is not confined to the policy functions of this Department, its contents will inform the considerations for the ongoing policy and legislative work that we are undertaking in Older Persons Services.

Home Care Packages

 558. Deputy Richard Bruton Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the status of the home care pilot scheme; and his plans to roll out the scheme further. [30292/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler A high-quality, consistent home-support service, focused on keeping people well in their homes and communities for as long as possible, is a key enabler to ensuring that people across a continuum of care get the right care, in the right place, at the right time. In this regard, my Department is in the process of developing a statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support.

Work is on-going within the Department to determine the optimal approach to the development of the statutory scheme within the broader context of the on-going reform of Ireland’s health and social care system, as envisaged in the Sláintecare Report   (2017). While work undertaken in 2019 focussed on the design of the scheme, work in 2020 is focussing on the development of a framework for the regulation of home-support services. In addition, the options for the funding of the new scheme are being examined through work with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on the projected demand for, and cost of, home-support services in various scenarios. This work will ensure that the funding model developed for the statutory scheme is fit for purpose.

  Progress on the development of the scheme has been impacted by the ongoing work and diversion of resources as part of the response to COVID-19. In particular, the pilot of a reformed model of service-delivery, which had been scheduled to commence earlier this year has been delayed. The Department is currently in discussions with the HSE with a view to commencing the testing of a reformed model of service delivery to underpin the statutory scheme later this year and into 2021.

Health Screening Programmes

 559. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the steps he is taking to clear the backlog of BreastCheck screening appointments; if appointments will be expedited; his plans to make BreastCheck screening in private hospitals free for persons waiting for screening and utilise all available resources in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30301/20]

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

Covid-19 Pandemic

 560. Deputy Verona Murphy Information on Verona Murphy Zoom on Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the date on which the Covid-19 roadmap for the reopening of day care services for older persons will be communicated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30309/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler We all know that community services such as day care and respite services play an important role in enabling older people to continue living in their communities and maintain their social connections. These services contribute to positive ageing and better overall health. However, the introduction of physical distancing, isolation and restricted contact with family and loved ones has changed the usual dynamic of social interaction.

The HSE continues to work closely with providers and community staff to identify where service is most required and has been undertaking risk assessments of local services. This is to ensure, insofar as possible, that Day Care services and respite services can resume in the context of COVID-19 and having regard for Public Health advice.

Services will resume when it is safe to do so; when all infection prevention and control measures and the requirements of physical distancing can be maintained, so as to protect service users and staff and prevent any further spread of the virus. Some Day Centres may not be suitable for reopening due to the constraints of their physical environment and it will be necessary to continue or expand alternative service delivery models developed during recent months. Some of the issues identified by the HSE include;

- Day Care Centres operated in shared public facilities where other groups are also accessing the building and the risk of infection spread.

- A number of HSE Day Care Centres are attached to HSE Residential Care Units and the clients of both the Day Care Centres and the residents from the Residential Care Unit are in the same location and use shared facilities.

- Transport of clients to the Day Care Centres where family cannot assist.

- Availability of isolation areas, should a client or a member of staff become unwell.

I understand the impact that the continued delay in the re-opening of day centres and the restoration of respite services is having on older people and the important role this service can play in their lives. I have asked the HSE to ensure that it continues to assess the risks and benefits of re-opening, as well as continuing to expand and explore alternative ways of delivering services to this vulnerable group. I am also continuing to meet with groups that work with and on behalf of older people to see how they can best be supported during this challenging time.

Nursing Home Accommodation

 561. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of public nursing homes by county; the number of private nursing homes by county; his plans for the development of further public nursing homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30315/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler The Health Information and Quality Authority is an independent authority established under the Health Act 2007. Since 2009 all nursing homes - public, voluntary and private have been registered and inspected by HIQA. A register of all nursing homes is available on the HIQA website www.hiqa.ie with a breakdown available per county.

  The Government recognises that our ageing population will require the delivery of significant additional long-stay and step-down facilities. A comprehensive programme of investment in public nursing homes over the period 2016-2021 is well underway. The programme is aimed at maintaining the existing level of public bed provision and will also provide some additional capacity.

The National Development Plan provides capital funding over the next ten years for additional capacity requirements including 4,500 additional short-term and long-term beds across the public system in Community Nursing Units and other step-down facilities, as identified by the Health Service Capacity Review (2018).

Voluntary Sector

 562. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if he will provide a list of section 39 funded organisations; the amount of funding allocated to each organisation in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30316/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter I have referred this to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy

Disability Services Funding

 563. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly his plans to provide funding to a service (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30317/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As the Deputy will be aware, St John of God Community Services recently served the HSE with 12 months’ notice of its intention to terminate the provision of services under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004 with a view to transferring responsibility of disability and mental health services and supports to the state by 1 October 2021.     

  The primary concern of the Government at this time is to ensure the continuity of supports and services provided by St John of God Community Services for people with disabilities, those with mental health issues and their families.    

  I understand that the HSE is fully committed to continue engaging with St John of God Community Services and I would encourage the organisation concerned to work collaboratively with the HSE in the period ahead to ensure stability and continuity of service provision for those who rely on these vital services.

  On the specific question of funding, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible

Disability Services Provision

 564. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the status of works to be carried out on a day care centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30318/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 565. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if occupational therapists in County Kildare have been reassigned to contact tracing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30327/20]

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

Occupational Therapy

 566. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if occupational therapists in County Kildare have been redeployed to other areas; the impact this is having on assessment waiting lists in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30328/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte The Programme for Government, Our Shared Future, recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way.

  The Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

  As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.

Disability Services Provision

 567. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of day centres in Cork city and county that have closed since mid-March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; the location of each centre; the service provided by each centre; the number of users deprived of services as a result of the closures; the analysis undertaken by HSE community healthcare west in regard to the closures and the impact on users; if he will provide a copy of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30337/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte As part of the overall effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and in line with public health advice, disability day service locations closed in March. The HSE began planning for the resumption of adult disability day services in May. A group representative of families, service providers and other relevant stakeholders, including Inclusion Ireland, was convened and tasked with the development of a Resumption Plan. On May 31st the Framework for the Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services was published and the guidance to support this framework was published on July 8th.

  The guidance is to enable safe and person-centred disability day service supports to be provided in line with current public health advice and infection control guidance. It is not overly prescriptive in terms of detail as there is a wide diversity of disability in the 19,000 adults that received day service supports and day service locations vary enormously in size and capacity. Of this 19,000, approximately 5,000 people receive a day service as part of their residential placement.

  The key overarching elements of managing the risk of infection are:

  1. Processes to identify people (service users and staff) with communicable infection (including COVID-19) before they access services/attend work or as soon as possible after they access services/attend work

  2. Processes to minimize the risk of spread of infection from people (service users and staff) who access services/attend for work with unrecognized infection (Standard Precautions)

  3. Early detection of spread of infection in the service and immediate response to limit harm.

  The guidance developed to support the resumption of adult day services also has had to take account of social distancing rules which has meant that there is a reduced number of people in each service location. This means that, when day services re-opened through August and September, they re-opened at 40% capacity. However, the HSE is committed to maximising the support that can be provided within these restrictions. The HSE also plan to capture the detail of the service being provided to each individual over the next few weeks, to get a better understanding of the quantum of service being provided.

On Monday 28 September, Ministers Donnelly and Rabbitte announced that €10 million is being made available in 2020 to support the resumption of day services and enhanced home support services for disability service users.   Of this, €7.5 million will increase disability day services by one day a week for over 14,000 adults. This funding is being drawn down from the National Action Plan on COVID-19. Funding requirements for 2021 will be considered as part of the Estimates process.

In line with the Governments Resilience & Recovery Framework (2020 – 2021), the HSE regards the provision of disability services as essential to maintaining a response to people with a disability, in the same way that schools and creches are. Importantly,   Government’s intention is that disability services will remain open at each level of the Resilience and Recovery Framework, subject to public health guidance.

  As the Deputy's question also pertains to a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.

  Question No. 568 answered with Question No. 478.

Disability Services Provision

 569. Deputy Holly Cairns Information on Holly Cairns Zoom on Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if funding will be provided for the provision of transport to and from disability support services in west County Cork that have been reduced due to social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30339/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte  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.

  As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.


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