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Butler, Mary

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Covid-19, Mental Health and Older People: Statements

I thank Members for another opportunity today to update the House on developments in the areas of mental health and older people.

  While we do not yet fully understand the effec...More Button

Covid-19, Mental Health and Older People: Statements (Continued)

In recognition of the positive impact of the vaccine across nursing homes, new guidance on visiting will come into effect on 4 May allowing residents to receive four visits every week.More Button

Work to progress the implementation of the expert panel report will continue as it provides an important framework for the ongoing response to Covid-19 and longer term reform. The availability o...More Button

A dedicated system has been established to ensure all those awaiting a vaccination at home will be contacted in the coming days. This has been ongoing all week. The National Ambulance Service h...More Button

This year, an additional €150 million has been provided to deliver on the Government's commitment to increase home care hours. This includes €17 million to progress the development of a statutor...More Button

I am pleased to advise the House that, on 27 April, the Government approved the drafting of a general scheme and heads of a Bill to establish a licensing framework for publicly funded, for-profit...More Button

A key priority for me currently is the resumption of day care services, and I will continue to engage with senior officials within the Department and HSE to ensure that as many services as possib...More Button

The nursing homes support scheme continues to deliver affordable and accessible nursing home care for citizens with long-term care needs. Notwithstanding this, the programme for Government commi...More Button

A finalised draft of the Bill has now been signed by the Attorney General and I expect to bring the Bill to the Cabinet for approval next week. I hope it will be before the House in four to six ...More Button

A range of initiatives and resources is available through the Understand Together campaign to ensure that people living with dementia stay safe, well and connected. Primary care teams are referr...More Button

I am fully committed to further enhancing mental health and older people's services and look forward to Members' contributions today on these important areas of work.More Button

I thank the Deputy for his continued interest in mental health and his constructive approach. He welcomed the surge capacity, especially in regard to eating disorders. There is no doubt but that,...More Button

On Kerry CAMHS, as referred to by the Deputy, it is important that we wait for the results of the review. We can certainly consider whether a national review is required but the most important t...More Button

Regarding the issues raised by Sinn Féin in its motion last week on the crisis teams and a pilot, we have not considered the matter since. It was only a few short days ago.More Button

On the registration of psychotherapists, I will have to get the Deputy a note on CORU and the current position.More Button

I thank Deputy Patricia Ryan for her continued interest in older people. On the first question, on mental health supports for older people, there are 1,000 mental health organisations throughout t...More Button

On housing for older people, I had a meeting on the issue only a couple of weeks ago with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, while the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, has met th...More Button

I will have to get the Deputy a written response on the Monasterevin day care centre.More Button

I will respond as briefly as I can. With regard to the housebound, the figures provided are the same as those I was given last week. The reason there have been more referrals than the Deputy had ...More Button

I thank all three Deputies for their constructive approach. To refer back to Deputy Murnane O'Connor's comments, although all three Deputies raised their concerns about older people and day care c...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his comments. He is correct that our older people have proven to be very resilient and that they have done everything asked of them. We are concerned about older people who...More Button

I take on board the Deputy's points. We are looking forward to the reopening of day care centres, active retirement groups, men's sheds and women's groups very soon. That will be a positive ste...More Button

I thank Deputies for raising these issues relating to older people and mental health supports. The HSE has a range of proactive responses to any rise in service need, including online and other te...More Button

As the Deputy knows, I cannot comment on any individual case. If he sends the details to my office, we certainly will look at them. A similar case, which had got newspaper headlines, was raised b...More Button

I am very conscious of the number of eating disorder and self-harm referrals in the past 12 months, especially concerning young girls. As I indicated, I have moved to reinstate funding of €3.94 ...More Button

The Deputy indicated that the details may have arrived in my office today. We certainly will look into the matter. It is important to note that decisions on all such issues are not political. Th...More Button

Can I have a few minutes to respond?More Button

Unfortunately, the Deputies are asking many questions and I will have no time to respond.More Button

I wish to make a point of order. We are dealing with Dáil statements on the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and older people. That is what is happening today.More Button

The Deputy raises a valid point. I have a 23-year-old daughter who has been working from the bedroom for the past 14 months. She is looking forward to getting back into the workplace.More Button

On the issue of students, last October I put in place a leaflet outlining all of these supports that are specifically there for young people in second and third level so that they are aware that th...More Button

I thank Deputy Dillon for raising this issue. The proposal to establish a cross-governmental Youth Mental Health Pathfinder Project with participation from the Departments of Health; Education; an...More Button

I thank the Deputy very much for those kind comments. I am very much aware of the outbreak in the school in Youghal. As we all know, this can be very traumatic for the pupils and staff alike. Th...More Button

In answering the Deputy, some of those questions fall under the remit of the senior Minister, Deputy Donnelly. My remit is more for older people and mental health.More Button

As to the over 60-year-old people, as the Deputy is aware, this was changed again yesterday or the day before. Now, for example, anybody over 50 years of age will be able to receive AstraZeneca ...More Button

As to Parkinson’s disease, I worked very closely with the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland in Waterford and I will bring the Deputy’s request forward. From what I can see, the roll-out of the ...More Button

I ask the Deputy to clarify to which report she is referring. I missed that line.More Button

I thank the Deputy for that clarification and for raising the matter. I will meet the expert panel this afternoon. It was an absolute game-changer. We have the support of Nursing Homes Ireland. ...More Button

I thank Members for their valuable contributions and will reflect closely on all statements relating to mental health and older people. Many of the issues highlighted are already being addressed t...More Button

I will try to answer some of the questions raised. As the Acting Chairman will be aware, some Members decide to make statements and ask quite a lot of questions, so it is difficult to come back ...More Button

Deputy Cairns made several statements. She stated that home care was suspended for many people. It is fair to say that while 2,846 home care packages were suspended, 2,446 of those suspensions ...More Button

Deputy Cairns also raised the issue of the dementia budget.More Button

That issue was close to my heart in the previous Dáil. I worked with Senator Colette Kelleher at the time. We co-chaired the all-party Oireachtas group on dementia. For the first time in the his...More Button

Deputies Cahill and Martin Browne raised the issue of Jigsaw. Jigsaw has been in touch with stakeholders in the local areas and has confirmed a date for referrals once building works are confirm...More Button

A question was raised on mental health acute beds in the Tipperary area. As I said previously, there will be a review of mental health bed capacity throughout the country and its recommendations...More Button

Deputy Denis Naughten made a few points on specific issues related to mandatory hotel quarantine. I am not in a position to answer his questions, especially those relating to individual cases. ...More Button

Last week, Deputy Naughten expressed criticism that the ambulance service was reaching people who are housebound fast enough. We have decided to double the number of ambulances visiting people at...More Button

I thank the Cathaoirleach Gníomhach for his time and patience. I thank colleagues and Members of both Houses for their continued support and suggestions for improving our mental health and older...More Button

I welcome the news that the Minister, Deputy McEntee, and her husband Paul had a baby today. We have broken the glass ceiling. The Minister is the first Minister in the history of the State to ...More Button

Covid-19 Pandemic

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 118 together.More Button

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has published new visiting guidance on 23rd April, which comes into effect on 4th May, and will provide additional opportunities to visit residents in long...More Button

If a visitor is fully vaccinated and is visiting in a room with a resident who is fully vaccinated with no other person present, they do not need to wear masks or avoid physical contact.More Button

A copy of the latest guidance can be accessed at Button

Although the situation in nursing homes has greatly improved, the risk associated with COVID-19 remains very real. There is still a risk of introduction of infection, including the possibility of...More Button

I have written to HIQA and all nursing home providers to emphasise the need to ensure visits take place to the greatest extent possible in line with the new guidance. I have also encouraged provi...More Button

The guidance will be kept under continuing review as new evidence and data emerges. I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy on this matter.More Button

Mental Health Policy

I recently received the correspondence referred to by the Deputy. I am giving detailed consideration to the concerns raised, in consultation as appropriate with other relevant areas within the Depa...More Button

Treatment Abroad Scheme

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

Home Help Service

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible. More Button