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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 319-330
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Staff
 Header Item Symphysiotomy Reports
 Header Item Dental Services Provision
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Hospitals Policy
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 109 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 319-330

Mental Health Services Provision

 319. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he is satisfied that all of the community based mental health teams are in place in the Dublin region; the posts that remain to be filled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46956/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As this is a service issue this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

 320. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if his attention has been drawn to the resource allocation model developed in his Department in 2012; if his will commit to using this model in allocating new staff posts, in view of the significant staff under-resourcing in areas of socio-economic deprivation, relative to affluent areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46970/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As the Deputy will be aware, an allocation of €20 million was set aside in the HSE's 2013 National Service Plan to strengthen primary care services. In this context, the HSE (Health Intelligence Unit and Primary Care Services working together) in 2012 developed a method of using census data together with data about current staffing levels to carry out a detailed analysis of the numbers and distribution of public health nurses, registered general nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists.

This Resource Allocation Model was used in the allocation of approximately 250 Primary Care posts under the 2013 HSE National Service Plan. It is expected that the model will continue to be included, where applicable, in decision making around the allocation of any new staff posts under the 2015 National Service Plan.

Child Care Services Provision

 321. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason for the delay in homecare in respect of children (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46973/14]

 322. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason there is a difficulty in children transitioning to the Health Service Executive for homecare from a foundation (details supplied) despite the fact that a system seems to operate in other parts of the country [46974/14]

 323. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his views regarding the plans he has to allow a foundation (details supplied) to secure funding to enable them to look after children up to the age of six, rather than requiring them to transition to the Health Service Executive on reaching the age of four [46975/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I propose to take Questions Nos. 321 to 323, inclusive, together.

  As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy. If the Deputy has not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days, she can contact my Private Office and they will follow the matter up with the HSE.

Health Services Staff

 324. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the reason almost ten years after the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (details supplied) was introduced there is still no complaints procedure in place in view of the fact that the website of the council set up to deal with this states that this will happen in the next 12 months, this has been the case for years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46976/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the registration boards established under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 are responsible for protecting the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence amongst the professions designated under the Act. The 12 professions designated under the Act are clinical biochemists, dietitians, medical scientists, occupational therapists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, psychologists, radiographers, social care workers, social workers and speech and language therapists.

The Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 is being implemented on a phased basis as registration boards and their registers are being established.

A total of six registration boards, for the professions of social worker, radiographer, dietitian, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and physiotherapist are currently operating. I hope to establish the registration boards for the remaining designated professions in 2015.

To date, registers have been established for the four designated professions of social worker, radiographer, dietitian and speech and language therapist.

Provision is made under the Act for a "Fitness to Practice" regime to deal with complaints and disciplinary sanctions in relation to registrants. This provision of the Act, which will come into force early next year, will allow complaints to be made about registrants. If upheld, disciplinary sanctions can be imposed, including preventing a registrant from practising his or her profession. The implementation and operation of a robust "Fitness to Practice" process will underpin and ensure adequate client safety.

Symphysiotomy Reports

 325. Deputy Timmy Dooley Information on Timmy Dooley Zoom on Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will provide a person (details supplied) who survived sympysiotomy with their medical records including the records associated with their five births; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46987/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The Surgical Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme commenced on 10th November 2014. The Assessor for the Scheme is former High Court Judge Maureen Harding Clark. The Scheme has around €34 million available and participants will receive awards at three levels - €50,000, €100,000 and €150,000.

Applications had to be made to the Scheme within 20 working days of the Commencement Date. The Closing Date for receipt of applications was therefore Friday 5 December 2014. The Terms of the Scheme specify that in exceptional circumstances, Judge Clark has discretion to extend the time for receipt of applications by an additional 20 working days, that is, to Wednesday, 14 January 2015. It is important to note that in the event of a delay arising in the compilation of a woman's supporting documentation due to difficulty in obtaining medical records, the application could be submitted within the time period set out in the Scheme with a written explanation of the reasons for the absence of the documentation. The details of this provision are set out in the Terms of the Scheme on its website: www.payment-scheme.gov.ie

Regarding the Deputy's question relating to a person's medical records, each hospital retains medical records on patients and it is up to the person themselves (or a representative for the person) to seek those medical records directly from the hospital. I understand that the Deputy's office was contacted last week and notified that the closing date for applications was Friday 5 December 2014, advising that the woman concerned should submit her application to the Scheme with a note explaining the absence of her medical records.

Dental Services Provision

 326. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if consideration will be given to the requests of Monaghan County Council regarding the provision of services and also a meeting (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46988/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The HSE has been asked to examine the specific query raised by the Deputy in relation to dental services in Castleblayney and to reply to him as soon as possible. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them.

As this is a service matter for the HSE, I have asked that appropriate HSE officials would meet with the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District delegation.

Health Services Provision

 327. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will ensure that programmes run under the Health Service Executive, for example dialectical behaviour therapy, are conducted in a secular and non-religious manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46990/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch As re-iterated in the recently published HSE Service Plan for 2015, the Executive seeks to ensure that all its operational policies and services promote best practice for all care programmes, including DBT provision, and that all relevant principles in this regard such as promoting quality, safety and social inclusion, are adhered to, including fostering a culture that keeps patients and service users to the fore above all else. In this context, and given that the Deputy has highlighted a particular therapy, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office. I would suggest also, that if the Deputy is aware of further details or has specific instances relating to the issue raised, she should bring them to the attention of the HSE, to facilitate the Executive furnishing reply.

Hospitals Policy

 328. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the details of the recently restructured administrative and functional areas of the Health Service Executive in respect of the hospital groups and community healthcare organisations with geographic locations and population numbers in the case of each; the reason these areas are not coterminous; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47018/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Report “The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a Transition to Independent Hospital Trusts” was published in February 2013. This report recommends the following Hospital Groups:

1. RCSI Hospitals Group   (Estimated Population, 800,000):

  Beaumont Hospital; Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; Connolly Hospital; Cavan General Hospital; Rotunda Hospital; Louth County Hospital; Monaghan Hospital.

2. Dublin Midlands   (Estimated Population, 800,000):

  St James's Hospital; The Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Dublin, including the National Children's Hospital (AMNCH); Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore; Naas General Hospital; Midlands Regional Hospital at Portlaoise; The Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital.

3. Ireland East   (Estimated Population 1,000,000):

  Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; St Vincent's University Hospital; Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar; St Luke's General Hospital Kilkenny; Wexford General Hospital; National Maternity Hospital; Our Lady's General Hospital Navan; St Columcille's Hospital; St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire; Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital; Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital.       

4. South/South West   (Estimated population 850,000):

  Cork University Hospital, incorporating Cork University Maternity Hospital; Waterford Regional Hospital; Kerry General Hospital; Mercy University Hospital; South Tipperary General Hospital; South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital; Bantry General Hospital; Mallow General Hospital; Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene.

5. Saolta Health Care Group   (Estimated Population, 700,000):

  University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital; Sligo Regional Hospital; Letterkenny General Hospital; Mayo General Hospital; Portiuncula Hospital; Roscommon County Hospital.

6.UL Hospitals   (Estimated Population 400,000):

  Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick; Ennis General Hospital; Nenagh General Hospital; St John's Hospital; Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital; Mid-Western Regional Orthopaedic Hospital.

7. Children’s Hospital Group

  Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and the paediatric service in AMNCH.

  On 8 October 2014, the HSE launched the Community Healthcare Organisations (CHO) Report. The Report sets out plans for a comprehensive reorganisation of health services outside the acute hospital system into nine CHOs. The primary focus is to meet the maximum proportion of people's care needs in the communities where they live and to achieve joined-up, integrated services. The text of the report and associated appendices, together with a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) document, is available on the HSE website www.hse.ie.

  In determining the optimum organisational model for the CHOs, the HSE identified a requirement for integration between the different parts of the community healthcare services; between community healthcare services and acute hospitals; with wider public service organisations such as local authorities, the Child and Family Agency (Tusla), the education sector and An Garda Síochána, and with local voluntary organisations.

  The option selected was arrived at after consideration of a number of options, details of which are contained in the HSE report on Community Healthcare Organisations The option selected was deemed the most appropriate on the basis that it met a key requirement of linking primary care networks and teams and secondary care with acute hospitals; it provided a strong basis for linkage with local authority boundaries and it struck an appropriate balance between an organisation of sufficiently large scale to support organisation and business capability, while at the same time being of sufficiently small scale to provide the local community connection and response required to deliver integrated care.

  The nine Community Healthcare Organisations and the general areas to be covered by each are set out below.   More detailed information, with maps indicating the geographic areas involved, is contained in the HSE report and associated FAQ document. The population figures quoted are derived from the 2011 Census.

Area 1   (Population 389,048)

  Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim/West Cavan, Cavan/Monaghan

Area 2   (Population 445,356)

  Cos. Galway, Roscommon and Mayo

Area 3   (Population 379,327):

  Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary/East Limerick

Area 4   (Population 664,533)

  Cos. Cork and Kerry

Area 5   (Population 497,578):

   Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford

Area 6   (Population 364,464):

  Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South-East, Wicklow

Area 7   (Population 674,071)

  Kildare/West Wicklow, Dublin South City, Dublin South-West, Dublin West

Area 8   (Population 592,388):

  Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth, Meath

Area 9   (Population 581,486):

  Dublin North, Dublin North-Central, Dublin North-West

  The process of implementation of the CHO structures is currently under way and they are due to come into being in January 2015. It is envisaged that the principal day-to-day linkages at clinical and patient level will be between the primary care networks and the relevant service within the Hospital Group. There will also be significant inter-Hospital Group interfaces for certain national services and it is envisaged that individual CHOs will interface with hospitals from more than one Hospital Group. Work to give effect to these interfaces is comprehended by the reform programmes currently underway in the HSE.

Hospital Appointment Status

 329. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the position regarding a hospital appointment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford. [47025/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The scheduling of appointments for patients is a matter for the hospital to which the patient has been referred. Should a patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he or she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved. In relation to the specific case raised, as this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up with them.

Mental Health Services Provision

 330. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Health Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the progress made following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Health Information Quality Authority and the Mental Health Commission on working together regarding the regulation of health, social care and mental health services. [47061/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch HIQA and the Mental Health Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 23 September 2013. This MOU has underpinned cooperation between the two bodies since then.

HIQA recognises the Mental Health Commission's role in helping to drive improvements to the quality and safety of social care services that are provided for people being cared for in the mental health services. In fulfilling its statutory responsibilities, since September 2013 HIQA has used the MOU to ensure that its work is consistent with its statutory remit and with the terms of the MOU.

HIQA has also used the MOU to inform its regulatory work when that work relates to care settings for which the Mental Health Commission also has a regulatory duty. This results in a complementary approach which ultimately serves the best interests of people who use social care services. HIQA has a strong and positive working relationship with the Mental Health Commission in this regard.

On 25-26 September, 2014, HIQA and the Mental Health Commission jointly hosted a two-day conference of EPSO (European Platform for Supervisory Organisations) in Dublin. This conference facilitated exchange of international information about the use of information in regulation, risk management, indicators of health system coverage and mental health services during economic crisis, and methodological frameworks and models for supervisory organisations. HIQA and the Mental Health Commission also interact through the work of Ireland's Health and Social Care Regulatory Forum.


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