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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 313-328
 Header Item Hospital Waiting Lists
 Header Item Hospital Staff
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Respite Care Services
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Health Services
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Dental Services
 Header Item Dental Services
 Header Item Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
 Header Item Home Care Packages

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. 313-328

Hospital Waiting Lists

 313. 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 people awaiting an endoscopy procedure in Wexford General Hospital; the number of these that 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. [19416/20]

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. In addition, the HSE published 'A Safe Return to Health Services' last week, which is a Service Continuity Roadmap for the resumption of services across the health system. 

  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 endoscopy services, a national programme was established in mid-2016 to coordinate several activities to improve endoscopy services. The Endoscopy Programme is housed within the Acute Operations Division of the HSE and the programme is overseen by the National Endoscopy Steering Group. The programme team consists of a Clinical Lead, Training Lead, Nurse Lead and Programme Manager. The team are supported by the National Endoscopy Working Group.

  The aim of the programme is to improve the delivery of endoscopy services across all Hospital Groups.

  The Endoscopy data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document.

Wexford General Hospital GI Scopes Waiting List June 2020
0-1 Mth 60
1-2 Mths 56
2 Mths- 3Mths 79
+3 Mths 649
Total  844

Hospital Staff

 314. 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 vacancies at Wexford General Hospital; the grade of each vacancy; the length of time of the vacancy in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19417/20]

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 respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Health Services

 315. 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 needs assessment in CHO5 ; the number waiting less than 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19418/20]

 316. 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 speech and language appointment in CHO5; the number that have been waiting less than 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19419/20]

 317. 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 an occupational therapy appointment in CHO5; the number who have been waiting less than 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19420/20]

 318. 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 speech and language appointment in CHO5; the number that have been waiting less than 3 months; the number that have been waiting 3, 3 to 6, 6 to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19421/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly I propose to take Questions Nos. 315, 316, 317 and 318 together.

The recently published Programme for Government document "Our Shared Future" recognises the need to improve services for both children and adults with disabilities through better implementation and by working together across Government in a better way. 

  The  Government commits to prioritising early diagnosis and access to services for children and ensuring that the most effective interventions are provided for each child, to guarantee the best outcomes.

  As the Deputy's questions relate to service issues, they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply. 

Respite Care Services

 319. 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 respite hours provided to families in County Wexford in each of the past 12 months; the number that have been provided each month since March 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19422/20]

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

 320. 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 day care centres in County Wexford that have reopened; the number that will be reopened by September 2020; if there are centres that will not be in a position to reopen by September 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19423/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As part of the overall effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and in line with public health advice, day service locations closed in March.

Since then, HSE Disability Services have been working to develop national guidance on the part of the disability sector to direct how all day services can be delivered. The Guidance to support the Framework for the Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services was published by the HSE on 8 July 2020.

In developing the guidance document to guide providers, the HSE worked closely with service providers through representative organisations such as the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers, Disability Federation of Ireland and the Not for Profit Association, in addition to Inclusion Ireland, who represent people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

The guidance document seeks to support the safe return of services in the context of ongoing public health guidance. It also recognises that the impact of public health guidance will result in services being provided at a reduced level and will require changes in how people are supported, increased use of technology where appropriate and more use of outreach supports.

Day services will gradually resume during the month of August. Service providers are already working to get day services ready to reopen safely, and in line with public health guidance. Service providers will be in touch with all families and service users during the month of July to discuss when they may expect the resumption of their service and what that service will consist of.

I want to acknowledge the many challenges experienced by individuals and their families over this difficult time. Families across the country have had their routines upended due to the impact of COVID-19 and I hope that this will be the first step towards returning to some sense of normalcy.

The Guidance to support the Framework for Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services is available on the New Directions website: www.hse.ie/newdirections. The HSE have also issued monthly communications updates for service users and their families, the latest leaflet “Adult Disability Day Services and COVID-19 - What’s Happening? July 2020” is available at the above link.  

An information portal that will contain the dates on which the 966 disability day service locations will reopen around the country is being developed. After August 4th service users and families will be able to access this information on www.hse.ie/newdirections.

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 Supports

 321. 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 day care centres for persons with intellectual disabilities in County Wexford that have submitted applications for funding in order to reopen; the amount required; the amount allocated to date; the total amount that will be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19424/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As part of the overall effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and in line with public health advice, day service locations closed in March.

Since then, HSE Disability Services have been working to develop national guidance on the part of the disability sector to direct how all day services can be delivered. The Guidance to support the Framework for the Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services was published by the HSE on 8 July 2020.

In developing the guidance document to guide providers, the HSE worked closely with service providers through representative organisations such as the National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers, Disability Federation of Ireland and the Not for Profit Association, in addition to Inclusion Ireland, who represent people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

The guidance document seeks to support the safe return of services in the context of ongoing public health guidance. It also recognises that the impact of public health guidance will result in services being provided at a reduced level and will require changes in how people are supported, increased use of technology where appropriate and more use of outreach supports.

Day services will gradually resume during the month of August. Service providers are already working to get day services ready to reopen safely, and in line with public health guidance. Service providers will be in touch with all families and service users during the month of July to discuss when they may expect the resumption of their service and what that service will consist of.

I want to acknowledge the many challenges experienced by individuals and their families over this difficult time. Families across the country have had their routines upended due to the impact of COVID-19 and I hope that this will be the first step towards returning to some sense of normalcy.

The Guidance to support the Framework for Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services is available on the New Directions website: www.hse.ie/newdirections. The HSE have also issued monthly communications updates for service users and their families, the latest leaflet “Adult Disability Day Services and COVID-19 - What’s Happening? July 2020” is available at the above link.  

An information portal that will contain the dates on which the 966 disability day service locations will reopen around the country is being developed. After August 4th service users and families will be able to access this information on www.hse.ie/newdirections.

It has been recognised that additional costs may arise for service providers in providing safe services. To date, Government has approved COVID 19 Pandemic Health service funding of €2bn. The aim of this funding is to support investment necessary to address COVID 19, to mitigate risk of the spread of COVID 19 and to facilitate the provision of health and social care services against the backdrop of COVID 19. The HSE is in the process of reviewing and validating business cases from disability services providers for additional funding to support the reopening of services

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.

Health Services

 322. 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 on the waiting list for ophthalmology in County Wexford; the average waiting time for an appointment in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19425/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In recent years, my Department has worked with the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and made considerable improvements to access for patients waiting for high volume procedures and life limiting procedures including cataracts. At the end of July 2017, the number of people waiting for a cataract procedure was 10,024. As of the end of June 2020, there were 6,023 patients waiting for a cataract procedure. Of these, 1,039 are waiting over 9 months which represents a reduction of 76% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,249 waiting over 9 months.

  A key development in improving access to Ophthalmology services was the opening of a stand-alone high-volume consultant-led cataract theatre by the University of Limerick Hospital Group in Nenagh Hospital in 2018, with the intention that it would facilitate patients from surrounding geographical areas to avail of their treatment there.

  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.

  NPHET has since revised its recommendation on the pausing of all non-urgent 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.

  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.  In addition, the HSE published 'A Safe Return to Health Services' last week, which is a Service Continuity Roadmap for the resumption of services across the health system. 

  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).

  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.

  The data requested by the Deputy concerning ophthalmology in County Wexford, is outlined in the attached document.

SpecialtyName AreaOfResidence Amount AverageNumDays
Ophthalmology Wexford 496 286

Health Services

 323. 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 in County Wexford waiting for an appointment for early intervention by therapy; the number that are waiting less than 6, 6 to 12 and more than 12 months, respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19426/20]

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 respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 324. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the details of accommodation hired during Covid-19 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19462/20]

Minister for Health (Deputy Stephen Donnelly): Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of accommodation in response to Covid-19 I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.

Dental Services

 325. Deputy Thomas Gould Information on Thomas Gould Zoom on Thomas Gould 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 Cork city; the average waiting times for appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19465/20]

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

 326. Deputy Thomas Gould Information on Thomas Gould Zoom on Thomas Gould 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 Cork city; the average waiting times for appointments; the number waiting more than six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19466/20]

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

 327. Deputy Thomas Gould Information on Thomas Gould Zoom on Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of persons waiting on the CAMHS waiting list in Cork city; the average waiting time; the number waiting more than six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19467/20]

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 respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Home Care Packages

 328. Deputy Thomas Gould Information on Thomas Gould Zoom on Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Health Information on Stephen Donnelly Zoom on Stephen Donnelly the number of persons that are waiting for homecare support in Cork city; the number of hours allocated in each of the past 12 months in Cork city; the average number of hours granted to each successful applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19468/20]

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 respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.


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