Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

198 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the north Dublin geriatric service is 315 beds short of the minimum requirements recommended by his Department in its 1988 report, The Years Ahead; the steps, if any, he will take to assist the Eastern Health Board provide more places; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11309/99]

As the Deputy will be aware, the Eastern Health Board in June of 1998 adopted a report "10 Year Action Plan for Services for Older Persons 1999 – 2008" which is a comprehensive statement of intent in which the board targeted the provision of a range of services for older persons into the new millennium. The report covers the full spectrum of services for older persons with detailed recommendations and costings.

This report follows on from the report "Review of Services for the Elderly, a 4 Year Action Plan 1995 – 1998" which was adopted by the Eastern Health Board in 1995 and which has been almost entirely implemented.

I am advised by the board that the following is a summary of the additional services brought on stream during the lifetime of the four year action plan and in the first year of the ten year action plan in relation to Dublin north city and county:

–46 bed community nursing units including day unit for older persons at Cuan Ros, Navan Road;

–25 bed community nursing unit at Sir Patrick Duns, Grand Canal Street (accessed in part by north Dublin city and county services);

–2 x 35-bed longstay units at Peamount Hospital, Newcastle, County Dublin (accessed in part by the north Dublin city and county services);

–52 convalescent beds at Caritas, Mount Merrion (accessed in part by the north Dublin city and county services);

–40 longstay or respite beds at St. Monica's Home, Belvedere Place, Dublin 7;

–85 additional contract beds in private nursing homes;

–additional post of consultant physician in medicine for the elderly is currently being processed;

–additional resources for home help services (rates of pay and increased funding);

–50-bed community nursing unit including day unit at St. Clare's Home, Griffith Ave. extension has been completed and the staff are currently being recruited; and

–an additional five community ward teams have been allocated to the North Dublin city-county area.

It should also be noted that a key element of the ten year action plan is the provision of a number of community units for older persons including day units strategically located in the Eastern Health Board area to meet the full range of in-patient services including day services for a local catchment population. In this regard sites have been identified for such units at Lusk, Beaumont, Raheny and Fairview and for a second unit at St. Clare's, Griffith Avenue extension.