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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 272-281
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times
 Header Item Hospital Trusts
 Header Item Medical Card Data
 Header Item Hospital Acquired Infections
 Header Item Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals
 Header Item Psychological Services
 Header Item Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times
 Header Item Primary Care Centre Provision

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 77 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 272-281

Hospital Waiting Lists

 272. 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 the number of patients recorded as awaiting various procedures at public hospitals throughout the country; the degree to which these waiting times have fluctuated to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7384/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly In relation to the detailed information requested by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to him directly.

Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times

 273. 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 the extent to which overcrowding at accident and emergency departments throughout the public hospital sector has fluctuated in each of the past six years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7385/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Hospital Trusts

 274. 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 notwithstanding his reply to previous Parliamentary Question in the matter of the next development phase of the Naas Hospital Development Plan, if he is satisfied in view of the pivotal geographic location of the hospital that adequate resources will be put in place to ensure its continued development without interruption; if all necessary upgrading of equipment and staffing arrangements are in place to facilitate the ongoing growth and development of the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7386/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As a first step in the transformation of public hospitals into independent, not for profit hospital trusts, seven hospital groups have been established nationally in line with the recommendations of The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a Transition to Independent Hospital Trusts (the Higgins report) published in May 2012. Naas Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, along with the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, St. James's Hospital and Tallaght Hospital, with Trinity College Dublin as the academic partner for the group.

  Each hospital group must develop a strategic plan for their future service configuration in the first year of their operation. These plans must describe how they will provide more efficient and effective patient services; how they will reorganise these services to provide optimal care to the populations they serve; and how they will achieve maximum integration and synergy with other groups and all other health services, particularly primary care and community care services. The development of all hospitals, including Naas Hospital, will be considered in the context of these strategic plans.

  I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in regard to the specific issues he raises of resources, equipment and staffing arrangements.

Medical Card Data

 275. 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 the total number of full medical cards currently in circulation; the extent to which this figure has fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7387/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The information sought by the Deputy is outlined in the following table. The medical card service is demand led and the number of cards at any given time reflects those persons who have met the eligibility criteria governing the scheme. It should be noted that the higher number of medical cards that issued in 2012 was attributable, primarily, to the backlog of applications in 2011 which were cleared by April 2012.

DateNational PopulationNumber of Medical Cards
End 20094,459,3001,478,560
End 20104,470,7001,615,809
End 20114,581,2691,694,063
End 20124,585,4001,853,877
End 20134,593,1001,849,380

Hospital Acquired Infections

 276. 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 the extent to which the incidence of MRSA or other similar hospital infections continues to be monitored; the extent to which improvement has taken place in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7388/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The prevention of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) and colonisation/infection of our patients with antimicrobial-resistant organisms (AMR) such as MRSA is one of my priorities in protecting patient safety. HCAIs represent a major cause of preventable harm and increased healthcare costs. While not all HCAIs are due to AMR a significant proportion are. HCAIs are not an inevitable consequence of healthcare - recent evidence suggests that up to 70% of HCAIs can be prevented depending on the type of infection and the baseline rate.

  The approach to prevention and control of HCAIs is similar irrespective of whether or not it is caused by an antibiotic resistant bacteria. Therefore, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has a dual focus:

 1. Implementing measures to prevent and control HCAIs including those caused by AMR such as MRSA

 2. Implementing specific measures for AMR including MRSA
- These are outlined in national guidelines which have been recently updated

- Monitoring infections caused by AMR as outlined later in this response.

  The HSE has implemented a number of national initiatives in this field for many years, including:

- SARI 2001-2010 which specifically outlined the national strategy for prevention of AMR and was launched by the Minister of Health in 2001.

- HSE ‘ Say No to Infection’ which focused on both HCAIs and AMR

- The RCPI & HSE national clinical programme for the prevention and control of HCAIs and AMR which commenced in late 2010.

- Public reporting of HCAIs and AMR in Irish acute hospitals:
- HCAIs Prevalence Study 2006 and 2012

- S. aureus bloodstream infection (reported quarterly since 2007) – this includes public reporting of MRSA rates per hospital

- Alcohol hand rub consumption (reported bi-annually since 2007)

- Antibiotic consumption (reported bi-annually since 2007)

- Hand hygiene compliance (reported bi-annually since 2011)

  The overall aim of the national clinical programme for the prevention and control of HCAIs and AMR is that every healthcare worker and all parts of the healthcare system recognise that the prevention and control of HCAIs and AMR is a key element of clinical and non-clinical governance. Our healthcare systems have processes in place to ensure safe healthcare is reliably delivered irrespective of the healthcare setting. The programme focuses on getting three basic practices right every time we care for our patients, these are hand hygiene, using antimicrobials appropriately (antimicrobial stewardship) & preventing medical device-related infections i.e., IV lines/drips, urinary catheters. If the above three measures are applied consistently and reliably every time healthcare workers care for their patients/residents/client then a significant proportion of HCAIs, including that caused by AMR will be prevented.

  The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) collates information from hospitals on healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistant organisms such as MRSA. Information is also published on an ongoing basis for S. aureus and MRSA bloodstream infection – published quarterly to hospital level since 2007. Notably, there has been an annual decrease in reported S. aureus  BSI, from 1,251 (2010) to 1,060 (2012). To the end of Q1 2013, 18.6% were due to resistant S. aureus (MRSA), a reduction on 2012 (22.8%).

  In December last I launched and endorsed the second National Clinical Guideline, Prevention and Control Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This National Clinical Guideline provides practical guidance on prevention and control measures for MRSA to improve patient care, minimise patient morbidity and mortality and to help contain healthcare costs. The guideline has been developed for all healthcare staff involved in the care of patients, residents or clients who may be at risk of or may have MRSA in acute hospitals, obstetrics and neonates, nursing homes/long stay residential units and the community.

  While I welcome the reducing trend in reported rates of MRSA in Ireland which indicates an overall reduction of 59% in MRSA rates since 2006, as per the table, Ireland’s MRSA rates are comparably high with other countries. We must systematically build our actions and processes to continue to reduce the prevalence of MRSA in Ireland. I might add that I have ensured that Patient Safety has been made a priority within the HSE's Annual Service Plan through specific measures focused on quality and patient safety including HCAIs, Medication safety and implementation of Early Warning Score systems. My officials meet the HSE each month on the Service Plan and patient safety is a standing item on that agenda.

Year No. of MRSA casesDecrease
2006592-
2007536-
2008439-
2009355-
2010305-
2011263-
201224259% decrease on 2006 figures
2013180** Data provisional to the end of Q3 2013

Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times

 277. 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 the extent to which the number of persons occupying hospital trolleys in respect of each of the public hospitals has fluctuated in the course of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7389/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Medical Card Appeals

 278. 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 a review of refusal of medical card in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare can be undertaken, with particular reference to the medical needs of his spouse for whom a medical card is essential; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7390/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

Psychological Services

 279. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide a breakdown of the amounts paid out by his Department and the Health Service Executive to psychotherapy firms in the Dublin North Central and Dublin North East constituencies for the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7398/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Department of Health did not provide any funding to Psychotherapy firms in Dublin north central and Dublin north east constituencies over the past five years.

  Having regard to payments issued by the HSE, I am referring the Deputy's PQ to the HSE for direct reply as this is a service issue.

Accident and Emergency Department Waiting Times

 280. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plans to deal with overcrowding at Tallaght and Beaumont hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [7416/14]

 286. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly his plan to tackle the accident and emergency crisis at Beaumont Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7434/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 280 and 286 together.

  As this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.

Primary Care Centre Provision

 281. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will provide details of the planned primary care centre for Coolock; the cost of constructing the new building; the budget for running it; if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the number of staff due to work there; the different services the centre will provide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7417/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White Considerable progress has been made in progressing the primary care centre PPP project. Coolock/Darndale is one of the locations identified as being suitable for the PPP model. The HSE lodged the planning application for the Coolock/Darndale primary care centre in November 2013 and a 'decision to grant planning' was issued in January 2014. Details will be available on the relevant planning website. In addition to Coolock/Darndale, the locations to be progressed through planning are Ballymote; Boyle; Westport; Claremorris; Tuam; Limerick City; Dungarvan; Carrick-on-Suir; Wexford Town; Waterford City; Kilcock; Knocklyon/Rathfarnham; Crumlin/Drimnagh; and Summerhill, north inner city Dublin. In addition, the HSE has progressed Ballinrobe, which was not one of the original 35 locations announced in 2012, as a suitable substitute. It is expected that 10-14 sites (indicative number 12 based on affordability) from the locations listed above will be delivered as part of a single PPP contract with the remaining centres to be delivered by the HSE using other procurement means.   

  The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) published a Prior Indicative Notice (PIN)/Pre-Qualification Questionnaire in the OJEU on 19 December 2013. Details can be located at the following web address - http://www.ndfa.ie/TenderCompetitions/PrimaryCareCentresPPPProgramme.htm.

  Healthcare delivery is a service matter, therefore the Deputy's question in relation to the budget, staff numbers and health care services proposed to be delivered is referred to the HSE for direct reply.


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