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Written Answers - Hospital Services

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 64.  Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  if he has discussed with his northern counterpart the potential of cross-border co-operation in the area of neurology, specifically the potential of the Erne Hospital at Enniskillen, County Fermanagh to cater to its catchment needs, including in the neighbouring counties of Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan and the prospects for the appointment of a Parkinson’s Nurse, attached to Enniskillen, catering to sufferers of Parkinson’s in adjacent counties south of the border; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16252/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly There is a high level of cooperation in existence between the service providers in both jurisdictions in the border corridor, led and supported by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) organisation and by Senior service managers in both jurisdictions. There have already been considerable achievements in providing certain services collaboratively, some with the support of EU Interreg Funding.

In both health and social care sectors there is a positive focus on building on past and current achievements and in assessing opportunities which will prove beneficial to the populations in [722]both jurisdictions. This collaboration will continue to receive an impetus through CAWT, which is representative of the Health Services in both jurisdictions and which has promoted positive working relationships and collaborative effort since it was established 20 years ago. In respect of health services, collaboration between providers North and South has focussed upon ENT, Ophthalmology, Vascular and Urology services: Parkinson’s services have not formed part of the discussion to date.

Recently, Senior HSE service managers from the border corridor area visited the New South West Hospital in Enniskillen for a familiarisation visit organised by CAWT. At this point in time the indications are that the new hospital will initially be commissioned and funded to provide services to its own defined catchment area. Neurology services are not indicated at this stage as part of that on-site provision. It was agreed that a review and mapping exercise would be undertaken to establish the potential for collaboration between services in the context of the opening of the new hospital. It should be noted also that although there is no dedicated Neurology Service in the Erne Hospital, further cross-border engagement will take place over the coming weeks and months particularly in the context of the opening of the new hospital, with a view to exploring areas for collaborative working across the border region.

The regional Neurology Service in Sligo is currently expanding under the National Clinical Programmes with the agreement for the appointment of a second Neurologist. Recruitment for this post has already commenced. Through this appointment, it is planned to develop sub-specialist neurology clinics for epilepsy, MS and Parkinson’s disease in Sligo Regional Hospital. As part of the Neurological Care Clinical Programme, Cavan Monaghan Hospital has established a Stroke area in the hospital which is providing focused stroke care. In addition to this a Consultant Neurologist, has commenced a clinic in Cavan General Hospital for patients with neurological conditions. The Consultant Neurologist is based in the Mater Hospital but provides this clinic on the Cavan Hospital site.

Question No. 65 answered with Question No. 49.

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 27.

Question No. 67 answered with Question No. 31.

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