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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 308-326
 Header Item Hospitals Data
 Header Item Home Help Service Provision
 Header Item Home Help Service
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Childcare Services Provision
 Header Item Ministerial Meetings
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Ambulance Service
 Header Item Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data
 Header Item Drugs Payment Scheme Data
 Header Item Community Care
 Header Item Home Help Service Data
 Header Item National Treatment Purchase Fund
 Header Item General Medical Services Scheme Data
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 991 No. 5

First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 308-326

Hospitals Data

 308. Deputy Stephen Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 163 of 12 December 2019, the number of removals from the outpatient list which were as a result of a patient being deceased. [53623/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris Validation is the process whereby hospital administration contacts patients on waiting lists at pre-planned intervals during the year to ensure that patients are ready, willing, suitable and available to attend a hospital appointment or wish to be removed from the list. The validation of waiting lists can help provide clean, accurate, up to date waiting list data which reflects the true demand for hospital services.

  The National Centralised Validation Unit (NCVU) advises that since its establishment in November 2018 and up to the end of October, they have completed 236 validation cycles, across 36 hospitals, resulting in over 229,000 patients being contacted and over 40,500 patients being removed from the Inpatient/Day Case and Outpatient waiting lists.

  The outstanding hospitals have engaged with the NTPF and have been allocated a time slot for validation in the next 3-6 months.

  The NCVU has confirmed that the NTPF does not collect specific patient personal reasons for removal as a result of validation.

  The 2 categories for validation removal collected by the NTPF are:

  - Patient requests removal from the waiting list

  - Patient removed from the waiting list due to non-response

  In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Home Help Service Provision

 309. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) has been allocated the necessary home help hours in order to return home but has been informed that the funding is not available for the hours; his plans to tackle the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53625/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Home Help Service

 310. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of occurrences of home help hours being awarded without the funding in place to deliver the hours in each of the past three years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53626/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Hospital Services

 311. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the previous time resources were increased to the stoma colorectal clinical nurse specialists service in Crumlin Children’s Hospital; the resourcing for the service in the past five years in tabular form; his plans to adequately fund the service in view of the ongoing demands on the service which have resulted in children and their parents experiencing long delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53627/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service matter, I have asked the Children's Health Ireland to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Childcare Services Provision

 312. Deputy Catherine Martin Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 13 November 2019, if he has engaged with the Department of Education and Skills to explore the provision of crèche facilities in the development of a permanent school building for two schools (details supplied) in view of the need for childcare places in Goatstown, Dublin 14; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53628/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Department of Health has no role in the provision of crèche places. Questions around such provision should be directed to the Department of Children and Youth affairs.

  With regard to the Deputy's reference to a specific site , the Department of Education and Skills has advised the following:

   The Department of Education and Skill’s responsibility is to provide sufficient accommodation to meet 20,000 new and replacement school places each year, to ensure that every child has a school place. The site in question has been acquired for school purposes. The Department of Education and Skills does not have any remit for the provision of accommodation for crèche facilities.

Ministerial Meetings

 313. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of times he has met with the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board from May 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53634/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I have met with members of the NPHDB, including a visit to the new children hospital site on 28th August 2019 and most recently a meeting with the Chair and Chief Officer of the NPHDB on 18th November 2019.

I am updated on a regular basis on developments relating to the new children's hospital by Departmental officials through the oversight channels detailed below. Department officials engage with the NPHDB on an on-going basis in relation to any relevant issues arising including areas such as ICT, equipping, communication and milestone events organisation. Department officials also engage on an on-going basis with the NPHDB in relation to other NPHDB matters such as NPHDB membership, staffing and annual accounts. There are also formal meetings that Department officials and the NPHDB Project Director of the NPHDB attend which are outlined below.

The Children’s Hospital Project and Programme (CHP&P) Board is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Health and membership is comprised of officials from my Department and the HSE as follows: Assistant Secretary of the Acute Hospital Policy Division in the Department of Health, the Director General of the HSE and the HSE Deputy Director General Strategy (DDG). The Project Director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) also attends CHP&P Board meetings. The CHP&P Board held its first meeting in September 2017 and monitors the progress of the CHP&P against the agreed parameters of the programme in relation to timeline, scope and funding.

The CHP&P Board has met at least every quarter since its establishment. 12 Meetings have taken place as follows: 14th September 2017, 12th December 2017, 17th January 2018, 14th March 2018, 20th June 2018, 19th September 2018, 16th November 2018, 11th December 2018, 18th December 2018, 1st April 2019, 2nd July 2019 and 12th October 2019. In relation to communications with the NPHDB, in addition to CHP&P Board a Children’s Hospital Project and Programme (CHP&P) Steering Group is in place to direct the overall programme of work. Department officials and the NPHDB Project Director are members of the CHP&P Steering Group. The Steering Group reports to the CHP&P Board and the Chair of the CHP&P Steering Group presents a report to the CHP&P Board meetings setting out any issues that need to be considered or decided at CHP&P Board level.

The Steering Group was established in May 2017 and has met 24 times to date as follows: 26th May 2017, 29th August 2017, 20th October 2017, 22nd November 2017, 25th January 2018, 26th February 2018, 26th March 2018, 23rd April 2018, 31st May 2018, 25th June 2018, 27th August 2018, 24th September 2018, 22nd October 2018, 10th December 2018, 17th December 2018, 25th February 2019, 25th March 2019, 25th April 2019, 27th May 2019, 24th June 2019, 26th August 2019, 23rd September 2019, 21st October 2019 and 16th December 2019. From 2014 to 2017 a Steering Group, chaired by the Assistant Secretary, Acute Hospitals Division, reporting to the Secretary General, was in place to oversee, monitor and support the project. The NPHDB Chair and Project Director were members of that Group. That Group met 22 times.

Departmental Staff Data

 314. Deputy Mattie McGrath Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of new staff recruited to his Department from January 2019 to date; the title of each employment position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53645/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The following table sets out the number of new entrants to the listed employment positions in the Department of Health since January 2019 to date.

  The figures include individuals from open competitions, individuals who were seconded into the Department and those existing civil servants who were successful in internal, interdepartmental and open promotion competitions. The figures include existing members of staff of the Department who were promoted to a more senior grade and remained within the Department of Health.

New Entrants 2019
Secretary General 0
Deputy Secretary 0
Assistant Secretary 0
Principal Officer 13
Assistant Principal 45
Higher Executive Officer 16
Administrative Officer 15
Executive Officer 18
Clerical Officer 27
Deputy Chief Medical Officer 0
Legal Adviser 0
Accountant 0
Service Officer 0
TOTAL 134

Ambulance Service

 315. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if the case of a call for an ambulance (details supplied) will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53655/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris As this is a service issue, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply. 

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data

 316. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of persons in nursing homes under the fair deal scheme that have a residential property registered in their name which is included as part of the assessment for the scheme; the number of these homes that have a family member residing in them; the number of homes that are rented or generating an income; and the number that are vacant [53659/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Drugs Payment Scheme Data

 317. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the estimated cost of reducing the monthly threshold on the drug payment scheme for a family to €62.50; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53663/19]

 318. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the estimated cost of reducing the monthly threshold on the drug payment scheme for a family to €42; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53664/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 317 and 318 together.

  Under the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013, the HSE has statutory responsibility for the administration of the community drug schemes; therefore, the matter has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Community Care

 319. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if patient advocacy groups will have an input into the new pilot home care scheme; when consultation will commence; and when the pilot scheme will be in operation [53675/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Jim Daly): Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly Enabling people to continue to live independently at home for as long as possible is a long-standing objective of the Government.  To advance this, the Government is committed to establishing a new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support services.  Sláintecare commits to the establishment of this scheme by the end of 2021.

Throughout 2019, the Department of Health has been engaged in designing the scheme based on continual enhancement of existing service-provision and on good practice internationally in relation to health and social care delivery. 

As part of Budget 2020, €7m has been allocated for the testing of the new model of service delivery envisaged as part of the  development of the statutory home-support scheme.   My Department is working with the HSE to finalise the plan for the testing phase which is expected to take place throughout 2020.

I consider stakeholder engagement to be a critical part of the development of the statutory home support scheme and my Department has already undertaken a public consultation, a policy dialogue and has met with key stakeholders on a number of occasions.  I look forward to on-going consultation with all stakeholders, including advocacy groups, throughout the testing phase.

Home Help Service Data

 320. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the cost of one hour of home help. [53676/19]

 321. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if €10.7 million was spent on home help up to July 2019 (details supplied). [53677/19]

 322. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris if his attention has been drawn to the fact that CHO 8 has taken a decision not to cover annual leave home help; his views on same; and if the decision will be reversed. [53678/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris I propose to take Questions Nos. 320 to 322, inclusive, together.

  As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

National Treatment Purchase Fund

 323. Deputy Stephen Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris further to Parliamentary Question No. 275 of 12 December 2019, the funding the National Treatment Purchase Fund is providing for the opening of additional beds; if the beds are being exclusively financed by the fund; if other funding is being provided; and if so, the details of same. [53687/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has agreed, at my request, to support the marginal costs of funding additional beds for three months to the end of March 2020. This initiative will support the commitment by the HSE and my Department to alleviate winter pressures in our  hospital system. Hospitals have been invited to make submissions to the NTPF to utilise this funding. To date, the NTPF has approved in principle, subject to appropriate governance and oversight, 172 additional beds. These beds will be funded from the NTPF budget at a cost of approximately €4.6 million. Furthermore, the NTPF is currently assessing further proposals which are still being received. Given the challenges facing the Emergency Departments, with the exceptionally high use of trolleys for patients, I would urge all hospital groups and individual hospitals, which have not already done so, to engage with the NTPF to identify proposals to provide additional bed capacity for the winter period.

General Medical Services Scheme Data

 324. Deputy Stephen Donnelly Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the number of general practitioners holding GMS contracts in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form. [53688/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris The following table shows the number of GMS contracts for the years 2015-2018 and to date in 2019:

Year Number of GMS Contracts
December 2019 2,509
2018 2,491
2017 2,490
2016 2,473
2015 2,432

Health Services

 325. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris when the provision of new and upgraded accommodation at a health facility (details supplied) will progress to the next stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53702/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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.

   

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

 326. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris the status of 2020 projects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53703/19]

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris 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.


Last Updated: 22/07/2020 13:57:58 First Page Previous Page Page of 97 Next Page Last Page