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McEntee, Helen

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Care of the Elderly Provision

I thank the Deputy for his question. As the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, I am sure that every Deputy's priority is to ensure that people live active, healthy, happy and ...More Button

The Government is committed to enhancing the quality of life of older people, supporting them in their homes and communities for as long as possible and, when required, providing access to qualit...More Button

In 2016, the HSE has a core provision of €324 million for home support. An additional €20 million has been allocated to maintain the 2015 increase in service levels to 10.4 million home help hou...More Button

The nursing homes support scheme, with a net budget of €940 million, is expected to support 23,450 clients on average per week, representing an increase of 649 clients per week on last year's fig...More Button

I am confident that, with continued economic growth, we will be able to expand services for older people based on the effective use of existing resources and additional funding.More Button

We will have plenty of opportunity to discuss everything that Deputy Kelleher has prepared. In the new era of cross-party consensus, we are all on the same page, in that we want to ensure that old...More Button

We are trying to deal with a number of issues. For example, delayed discharges is a major one. In order to move people on from emergency departments who should not be there, people are being se...More Button

Yesterday, the House debated our intention to effect a ten-year plan for the health system. For a long time, we have been playing catch-up and going from year to year. As Deputy Kelleher rightly ...More Button

Mental Health Services Funding

I thank the Deputy for his question and look forward to working with him in his capacity as spokesperson on mental health. As we all know, there has been a debate ongoing for a number of weeks on ...More Button

A Programme for a Partnership Government confirms the Government’s commitment to further developing and improving our mental health services in line with existing policy, as set out in A Vision f...More Button

There needs to be a constant review and consistent implementation following on from the report. We must consult continually on international and European best practice.More Button

A Programme for a Partnership Government gives a clear commitment to increasing the mental health budget annually — I will stand over that commitment — so that we can build capacity in existing s...More Button

Some €115 million in additional funding for mental health services was made available at a time when other budgets across the spectrum were cut. That increase was made by the previous Government s...More Button

I am committed to developing youth mental health services, as is the Government with its announcement of a youth mental health task force. That will require funding but the commitment has been m...More Button

The full €35 million that was ring-fenced for this year will go into the base for next year. The budget will have to account for the fact that we are examining cross-departmental options.More Button

The last Government provided additional ring-fenced mental health funding of €160 million over 2012 to 2016 inclusive. In 2015, the National Service Plan Budget for mental health was €791 million a...More Button

The €35m allocation for mental health will fund new service developments. The HSE National Service Plan 2016 identifies priorities for allocation of the €35 million, including the continued deve...More Button

Staff recruitment is a key element of these developments. I am informed that, as staff recruitment takes time, the 2016 HSE National Service Plan envisages that time-related savings of approxima...More Button

The last Government provided additional ring-fenced mental health funding of €160 million over 2012 - 16 inclusive. Funding for mental health in 2016 will increase from the 2015 outturn of €785m, ...More Button

The €35m allocation for mental health will fund new service developments. The HSE National Service Plan 2016 identifies priorities for allocation of the €35 million, including the continued deve...More Button

Staff recruitment is a key element of these developments. As staff recruitment takes time, however, the 2016 HSE National Service Plan envisages that time-related savings of approximately €12m f...More Button

The last Government provided additional ring-fenced mental health funding of €160 million over 2012 - 16 inclusive. Funding for mental health in 2016 will increase from the 2015 outturn of €785m, ...More Button

The €35m allocation for mental health will fund new service developments. The HSE National Service Plan 2016 identifies priorities for allocation of the €35 million, including the continued deve...More Button

Staff recruitment is a key element of these developments. As staff recruitment takes time, however, the 2016 HSE National Service Plan envisages that time-related savings of approximately €12m f...More Button

The additional ring-fenced mental health funding of €160 million provided over 2012-16 inclusive, has contributed significantly to implementation of A Vision for Change (AVFC). ...More Button

Mental Health Services Funding (Continued)

As such, I intend to have each Department and Minister identify a specific element of their remit through which they can contribute to mental health services because the issue is not confined to th...More Button

Mental Health Policy

I thank Deputy Stanley for putting forward this question with regard to mental health promotion and policy and how it will be implemented in schools. I presume Deputy Louise O'Reilly will respond ...More Button

Unfortunately, I cannot give the Deputy a set timeline for that. I spoke to the Minister for Education and Skills only yesterday on this issue. Essentially, what it means is that over a three yea...More Button

With regard to school resilience and Pieta House, at the moment Connecting for Life has a strong youth element to it. There is a pathfinder project set out to implement the youth aspect of it. ...More Button

Unfortunately, as this is specifically within the Department of Education and Skills, I cannot give that information to the Deputy. However, I will give her a commitment that I will speak to the M...More Button

With regard to the specific individuals on the task force outside of the Department and the political sphere, I cannot give the Deputy the names because I do not have all of the names. They do n...More Button

In January 2006, the Government adopted the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy 'A Vision for Change' as the basis for the future development of mental health services in Irel...More Button

The Programme for Partnership Government confirms this Government’s commitment to further develop and improve our mental health services in line with existing policy as set out in A Vision for Chan...More Button

The Programme for Partnership Government gives a clear commitment to increasing the mental health budget annually so that we can build capacity in existing services and develop new services. For...More Button

The Programme for Government recognises the need to further promote awareness and prevention strategies in our education system. We acknowledge that a more thorough understanding of students’ ow...More Button

The Government is committed to the implementation of the national suicide strategy Connecting for Life - a national plan for the whole of Government and the whole of society to work together. Th...More Button

Some €115m in additional funding was added to the mental health budget in the HSE National Service Plans over the period 2012 to 2016. I am confident that, as the economy continues to grow, the ...More Button

Mental Health Services Report

I thank the Deputy for his question, which relates to the review of A Vision for Change which is currently being undertaken. In January 2006, the Government adopted the report of the expert group ...More Button

A Vision for Change has guided national mental health policy for the past ten years and, as we all know, that term has come to an end. While that vision has not changed, the Department is curren...More Button

To agree with the Deputy, when this document was published in 2006 we possibly did not foresee the financial circumstances in which we would find ourselves in the following years. However, in the ...More Button

As the Deputy said, there is no point conducting a review and having it sitting on a shelf, doing nothing. There needs to be a continuous assessment and continuous review, given times have chang...More Button

It would be my intention that the report will be brought before the committee so it could be discussed not just by ourselves and by Deputies but also, as Deputy O'Reilly said, by those who have an ...More Button

The review of A Vision for Change will allow the different individuals to have an input to this. We will need to look at best practice and at international norms, which will include asking those w...More Button

Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.More Button

Medicinal Products Availability (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for raising this very important issue which has featured in the media quite a lot in recent days in the context of developments in the provision of new cystic fibrosis and cancer...More Button

Decisions on the reimbursement of new drugs are matters for the HSE. They are not political decisions, as much as we would sometimes like them to be. Every drug undergoes a scientific and evide...More Button

As with all new drugs developed, the HSE must follow a process. I understand how patients and their families must feel in these circumstances as they await a decision by the HSE on reimbursement...More Button

Yesterday the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics, NCPE, published a recommendation that the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi not be reimbursed by the HSE, as it was not considered cost-effective a...More Button

This is not the end of the reimbursement process. The HSE will now enter negotiations with the manufacturer to seek significant price reductions. It will then consider the outcome of these nego...More Button

Two new cancer drugs have also been discussed by the HSE and in the House in recent days. I welcome yesterday's decision by the HSE to approve Pembrolizumab for reimbursement and I am sure this ...More Button

The single biggest challenge in the assessment of new drugs for reimbursement is, as we have discussed, presented by the very high prices sought by suppliers. Let me be very clear - the process ...More Button

Hospital Services (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for raising this issue, which is obviously very important to her, her constituents and those in the west. Galway University Hospitals, comprising of University Hospital Galway a...More Button

An issue has arisen with respect to the operation of the DEXA scanner situated at Merlin Park Hospital. The Minister for Health has been advised by the Saolta University Health Care Group that t...More Button

Galway University Hospitals are actively working to recruit radiographers in order to fill a number of vacancies. One successful candidate will commence work in early July. An additional five i...More Button

The Saolta Group and the HSE are working to put the necessary arrangements in place to ensure the continuity of services from July. In the interim period until the newly recruited radiographers ...More Button

It is also important to note that major developments are ongoing and planned for Galway University Hospitals. The programme for a partnership Government has committed to progressing a new emerge...More Button

Mental Health Commission Reports

I thank Deputy Browne for his question. The Mental Health Commission is charged with visiting and inspecting every approved mental health centre at least once a year. The commission, as the Deput...More Button

Mental Health Commission Reports (Continued)

While each premises received excellent and good rankings for elements of their performance, there were concerns about the upkeep of the premises, other issues and the admission of children to the S...More Button

The admittance of children to adult units is sometimes permitted for reasons of geographic location, the expected length of stay, which is usually short term, and the age of the young persons inv...More Button

The HSE National Service Plan 2016 aims to improve the placement of children in age-appropriate mental health settings. We have set a target of 95% appropriate placement, and this is indicated i...More Button

I will continue to prioritise development of all aspects of CAMHS, including timely access to appropriate services, early intervention and an integrated service approach, again bringing it back t...More Button

The HSE is actively managing the issue of the admission of children to adult units. Specific measures adopted include a dedicated notification system to inform the mental health division wheneve...More Button

Bearing in mind all the circumstances, the hospitals concerned are making progress on the issues raised, while taking account of the wishes of each young person, his or her parents or guardians, ...More Button

  The Dáil adjourned at 5.15 p.m. until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 June 2016.More Button

Mental Health Services Provision

The HSE aims for the placement of children in age appropriate mental health settings as much as possible. A 95% target of appropriate placement in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Units is indi...More Button

The admission of a child or adolescent to an Acute Adult Inpatient Unit is only made following a clinical assessment of the needs of the individual at community level, and in consultation with t...More Button

There are currently 66 operational Child and Adolescent Mental Health beds across the country. This includes extra 8 beds recently opened in the new Linn Dara Unit in Dublin, and further beds f...More Button

I am satisfied that the HSE is making progress in relation to the issues raised by the Deputy, while taking account of the wishes of each young person, their parents or guardians, and the complex...More Button

The Department will continue to closely monitor this issue, in conjunction with the HSE, to ensure that the various new initiatives contribute to improving CAMHS services across all regions. Whi...More Button

The current development of Crisis Houses, and Crisis Intervention Teams, form part of a spectrum of service supports for individuals with a mental illness presenting in crisis. One of the objectiv...More Button

The new Programme for Government commits to further enhancing 24/7 service support and liaison teams in primary and emergency care, building on the commitment in the HSE National Service Plan 201...More Button

Counselling is provided across the health service by both the HSE and the voluntary sector, including in primary care, but also within social care and mental health services. Counselling can be ...More Button

The Counselling in Primary Care service is a national service expanded in recent years to increase the access to counselling and psychotherapy and to supplement existing services provided at prim...More Button

Counselling and psychotherapy are provided within specialist community mental health teams when service users are clinically assessed as requiring this intervention. Counselling is also provided...More Button

The HSE National Service Plan 2016 identifies priorities for allocation of new development funding this year including the continued development of early intervention and counselling services. T...More Button

Crisis houses are designed for those who are in need of acute intervention but who do not require hospital care. A key objective is the provision of a safer, less stigmatising alternative to hospi...More Button

The current development of Crisis Houses, and Crisis Intervention Teams, form part of a spectrum of service supports for individuals with a mental illness presenting in crisis. One of the object...More Button

The new Programme for Government commits to further enhancing 24/7 service support and liaison teams in primary and emergency care, building on the commitment in the HSE National Service Plan 201...More Button

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will fol...More Button

The provision of new facilities, or other non-capital initiatives, to enhance forensic mental health provision nationally is core to modernising mental health services in line with A Vision for...More Button

The HSE National Service Plan 2016 aims to address the issue of 24/7 response in the Mental Health service through investment in additional liaison psychiatry services, enhanced community-based men...More Button

Funding is also being made available this year to facilitate the transfer of some patients from the Forensic Mental Health Services to the community, and for high observation facilities in acute ...More Button

In relation to specific measures to support an improved 24/7 crisis support service at regional and at local level, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not r...More Button

National Dementia Strategy Implementation

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Of...More Button

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Administration

When the Nursing Homes Support Scheme commenced in 2009, a commitment was made that it would be reviewed after three years. The Report of the Review was published in July 2015. The Review include...More Button

An Interdepartmental/Agency Working Group has been established to progress the recommendations contained in the Review. This Group is chaired by the Department of Health and includes representat...More Button

Mental Health Awareness

As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. If you have not received a reply within 15 working days, please contact my Private Office and they will fol...More Button

Mental Health Services Staff

The Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurse (SCAN) Initiative was first set up in 2008 in line with A Vision for Change's proposed shift towards community-based provision of multidisciplinary servic...More Button

Hospital Accommodation Provision

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Of...More Button

Traveller Community

Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to reduce Suicide 2015 - 2020, sets out a vision where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to ...More Button

- Reduced suicide rate in the whole population and amongst specified priority groups; andMore Button

- Reduced rate of presentations of self-harm in the whole population and amongst specified priority groups.More Button

There are no current plans to update the All Ireland Traveller Health survey. The Deputy will be aware that the Department of Justice and Equality is leading on the development of a new National...More Button

Home Help Service

In 2016, the Health Service Executive has a core provision of €324m for home supports.

  The HSE’s National Service Plan for this year provides for a target of:

- <...More Button

Mental Health Services

The HSE National Service Plan 2016 envisages the development of early intervention and counselling for young people, similar to the service provided for adults, and that this will be developed coll...More Button

In regard to the recruitment of specific posts for this initiative as this is a service matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the HSE for direct reply.More Button

Home Care Packages Provision

Home care services are key to facilitating older people to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible and the strengthening of home care services is an objective to which this Go...More Button

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Of...More Button

Community Care

Public Nursing Units are an essential part of our national nursing home infrastructure. They provide 5,000 long stay residential care beds i.e. approximately 20% of the total stock of nursing home...More Button

Parliamentary Questions

I regret the delay in replying to the Deputy's representations earlier this year. I have asked the HSE to respond to the various issues raised. I will revert to the Deputy when I receive the info...More Button