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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 298-312
 Header Item Hospital Car Parks
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Hospital Services
 Header Item Respite Care Services
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Health Screening Programmes
 Header Item Dental Services
 Header Item Dental Services
 Header Item Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
 Header Item Mental Health Services
 Header Item Mental Health Services
 Header Item Mental Health Services
 Header Item Home Care Packages
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 996 No. 2
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 101 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 298-312

Hospital Car Parks

 298. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the policies and procedures in place regarding hospital car parking charges for healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic; if the measures will return to normal; if so, when it will take place; the efforts made by his Department and the HSE to liaise with local authorities to ensure there are no charges, fees, clamping or fining of the cars of healthcare workers in cases in which they have to park on the street or otherwise do not have parking in hospital car parks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19370/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly On 19th March 2020, the HSE directed hospitals and healthcare facilities to immediately suspend parking charges for staff for the duration of the Covid-19 National Public Health Emergency.  I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly with regard to the queries raised, as soon as possible.

Hospital Services

 299. Deputy Colm Burke Information on Colm Burke Zoom on Colm Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the steps being taken to provide a fully resourced diabetes services at University Hospital Limerick for adults with type 1 diabetes; if plans are in place to employ a full-time dietician and an insulin pump nurse at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19371/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service issue, I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply to you directly. 

Hospital Services

 300. Deputy Colm Burke Information on Colm Burke Zoom on Colm Burke asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of patients with type 1 diabetes attending the diabetes service at University Hospital Limerick; the waiting times for those with type 1 diabetes seeking appointments for the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19375/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to reply to you directly.

Respite Care Services

 301. Deputy Neale Richmond Information on Neale Richmond Zoom on Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if residential care will be granted to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19378/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 302. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly if the number of random Covid-19 tests that will be carried out at airports will be a fixed number or a minimum percentage of passengers; the manner of testing proposed; if passengers will be required to wait onsite for test results; if he has considered a similar protocol for each point of entry to the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18545/20]

 303. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of random Covid-19 tests that will be carried out at airports daily; if each passenger will be eligible for such tests including passengers from green zone countries; if the tests will be carried out at each airport; if similar tests will be carried out at seaports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18544/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly I propose to take Questions Nos. 302 and 303 together.

Close consideration has been given by Government to policy in relation to overseas travel, including to additional measures to be put in place at airports and ports to strengthen existing arrangements. 

  Our next steps in relation to international travel will include development of an electronic passenger locator form and a revised system of follow up engagements with passegers arriving from overseas, work that is being coordinated on a cross departmental basis by the Department of Taoiseach.  

  In relation to testing at points of entry, the HSE is examining introduction of a voluntary rapid test and trace protocol for symptomatic passengers arriving from overseas. 

Health Screening Programmes

 304. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the decisions that were taken at the meeting of 17 July 2020 of the National Screening Advisory Committee about expanding the blood spot screening programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19399/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly Further to my response to a PQ received from the Deputy in relation to this issue last week, a meeting of the NSAC took place on 17 July 2020 where the Committee considered (1) the addition of ADA-SCID to the blood spot screening programme and (2) a change in the screening pathway of the Diabetic RetinaScreen programme. I still await the outcome of the discussions of the Committee.

  Updates in relation to the work of the Committee will be posted on the NSAC website  available at www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/nsac/. 

  I am strongly committed to identifying any opportunities that exist in this area and to their implementation.

Dental Services

 305. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of children and adults on the dental appointment waiting list in County Wexford; the average waiting time for appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19408/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Dental Services

 306. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of children and adults on the orthodontic waiting lists in County Wexford; the average waiting time for appointments; the number of patients who have been waiting more than six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19409/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

 307. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of persons waiting on the child and adolescent mental health services, CAMHS, waiting list in County Wexford; the average waiting time; the number of patients who have been waiting more than six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19410/20]

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

Mental Health Services

 308. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of children admitted to adult psychiatric units each year in 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020 in the CHO 5 area and the County Wexford area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19411/20]

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

Mental Health Services

 309. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the way in which he plans to cease the practice of placing children in adult psychiatric units; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19412/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Mary Butler): Information on Mary Butler Zoom on Mary Butler A reduction in the numbers of children admitted to adult psychiatric units is a priority for the HSE Mental Health Services and for myself. It is fully accepted that admission to an age-appropriate facility is in the best interests of the child. This is reflected in the Programme for Government which commits to work to end the admission of children to adult psychiatric units by increasing in-patient beds, as well as examining the model of assigning these beds.

Where a child requires admission to an in-patient unit, a bed in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit is sought in the first instance. A decision to admit to an adult unit is made only if a CAMHS admission is not feasible. Where such admissions take place, HSE Standard Operating Procedures apply. An admission to an adult unit must be advised to the Mental Health Commission and is generally to a separate area in the adult unit with appropriate supervision.

The vast majority of child admissions to adult units are for children in the 16-17 age bracket. The HSE advises that admission to an adult unit may often be more appropriate for the individual and to avoid any impact on younger children in CAMHS in-patient units. Children admitted to adult units are provided with special supports by the HSE.  The HSE Service Plan allows for some operational flexibility surrounding emergency placements in Adult Units, particularly where very short-term placements take place.  Full account is taken of all relevant factors such as the preferences of all those involved, and geographical factors relating to access or visiting. In this context, the HSE continues to closely monitor on a weekly basis all child admissions to adult units with a view to minimising this practice.

Progress in this area has been significant since 2008 when there were 247 such admissions to adult units. This was reduced to 50 HSE admissions in 2019, despite a background of increasing demands overall on CAMHS services.  In 2008, 25% of admissions were to CAMHS inpatient beds whereas in 2019 this had increased to 86%. It is important to note that the number of admissions does not necessarily equate to the actual number of children admitted in any given year, as an individual child may be admitted on more than one occasion. 

In 2019, there was a total of 358 HSE CAMHS admissions, of which 308 (86%) were to age-appropriate units and 50 (14%) of admissions of children were to Adult Units. Of the 50 admitted to Adult Approved Centres, 47, or 94%, were 16-17 years old, with 48% (24) of these discharged either the same day or within 3 days, and 82% (41) within a week.

In terms of bed days used, 96% of bed days used in 2019 were in CAMHS In-patient Units. Performance generally continues to be in line with the HSE Service Plan target figure of 95%, with the length of stay being kept to a minimum.

The HSE indicates that there were 12 admissions of those under age 18 to adult units for the period from January to end May, 2020.

I recently met with the HSE to review various issues relating to mental health, including CAMHS. Bearing in mind all the circumstances, I am satisfied that where children have at present to be placed short-term in adult mental health units, the HSE makes the necessary arrangements to protect these young people and aid their recovery. I will, however, continue to work with the HSE to continue the decrease in admissions to adult units, including maximising the new care options around mental health for young people highlighted in Sharing the Vision - A Mental Health Policy for Everyone.

Mental Health Services

 310. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly what out-of-hours mental health services are available for children and adults in County Wexford; his plans to expand the services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19413/20]

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

Home Care Packages

 311. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of persons waiting for homecare support in County Wexford; the number of hours allocated in each of the past 12 months in County Wexford; the average number of hours granted to each successful applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19414/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Anne Rabbitte): Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte As the Deputy's question relates to a service issue, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Waiting Lists

 312. Deputy Johnny Mythen Information on Johnny Mythen Zoom on Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of persons awaiting a colonoscopy in Wexford General Hospital; the number who have been waiting up to 30, 30 to 60, 60 to 90 and more than 90 days, respectively, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19415/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the HSE had to take measures to pause most elective scheduled care activity with effect from the end March 2020. This was to ensure patient safety and that all appropriate resources were made available for Covid-19 related activity and time-critical essential work. This decision was in line with the advice issued by National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines, and the National Action Plan.

The trajectory of the disease means there is now an opportunity for increasing the provision of non-covid care including more routine care. NPHET has since revised its recommendation on the pausing of all non-essential health services, with a recommendation that the delivery of acute care be determined by appropriate clinical and operational decision making.

Application of the essential risk mitigating steps set out in the guidance developed under the auspices of the NPHET Expert Advisory group will have operational implications, which will impact on throughput. 

Where possible, hospitals are working to find innovative ways to enable service provision, which include virtual clinics for some outpatient department appointments. The HSE website provides details on services currently available and operational in each hospital on its website. This information is reviewed frequently and provides up-to-date announcements on services available at each site (www2.hse.ie/services/hospital-service-disruptions/hospital-service-disruptions-covid19.html).

To ensure services are re-introduced in a safe, clinically-aligned and prioritised way, the HSE launched its Strategic Framework for ‘Service Continuity in a Covid Environment’ on 24 June.  Its implementation will ensure service resumption is done in an integrated way. This will involve a phased approach to ensure community services are strengthened. The Framework will also consolidate new ways of working and build on international knowledge. Further detail regarding the phases of service resumption are contained in the HSE’s ‘A Safe Return to Health Services’ document, published on their website on 22 July.

As the system continues to deliver Covid-19 and non-Covid 19 care side-by-side over a more prolonged period, my Department and the HSE will continue to work closely together to protect essential non-Covid 19 acute care and progress the provision of more routine non Covid-19 care.

In relation to the particular query raised by the deputy concerning colonoscopies, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.


Last Updated: 08/01/2021 12:35:27 First Page Previous Page Page of 101 Next Page Last Page