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Written Answers - Community Care

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 525.  Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the funding being made available to community nursing homes to carry out works to meet Health Information and Quality Authority Standards; the time frame for payment of these funds to each of the homes affected; the number of homes, names and locations included in this scheme for funding; if immediate approval will be given to funding the works being undertaken at a location (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; the percentage or amount of funding approved or to be approved for the works to be carried out on a phased basis at this location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24310/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly Upon its completion, the Community Nursing Unit (CNU) programme which commenced in 2006 will have delivered approximately 2,246 beds — comprising 879 additional and 1,367 replacement beds. Between 2006 and 2011 approximately €480m Exchequer capital funding has been provided for Services for Older People including community nursing units.

In order to comply with regulatory requirements, the HSE is now concentrating on the refurbishment and upgrade of existing publicly owned accommodation. The facility referred to is not owned by the HSE.

Distinction is made in the criteria between existing designated centres (those in existence on 1 July 2009, the date HIQA commenced its registration and inspection function) and newly built designated centres. There is a six year time-frame applicable to existing centres to allow them meet certain criteria in respect of outdoor space, communal space, kitchens, lifts, cleaning rooms, sluice rooms and laundry etc. In addition where there is a written, costed plan, with timescales agreed with the Chief Inspector, the six-year period for meeting criteria associated with bedroom sizes and occupancy may be extended on a case by case basis. Any HSE capital development, including grants for the construction or refurbishment of nursing homes, must be considered in the context of the overall HSE Capital Plan. This is a multi-annual programme which is developed over a rolling five year period. The Health Service Executive is required to prioritise the capital infrastructure projects within its overall capital funding allocation taking into account the existing capital commitments and costs to completion over the period. It is essential to assess all projects, other than those where existing contractual commitments are in place, on their merits, to ensure that the limited capital funding available goes to those developments which are of highest national importance.

A draft capital plan for the period 2012-2016 has been submitted to my Department. My Department is reviewing the proposals and following up with the HSE where further details may be required. The proposed plan requires my approval with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Details of the plan will be published by the Executive following its approval.

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