Tuesday, 21 June 2005

Questions (170, 171)

Pat Breen

Question:

102 Mr. P. Breen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if it is a standard procedure that, prior to a public patient being placed by a regional health office into a nursing home, the regional health office checks the relevant nursing home inspector’s reports; if there is a legal obligation on regional health offices to do this; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20868/05]

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Enda Kenny

Question:

203 Mr. Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if it is a standard procedure that, prior to a public patient being placed by a regional health office into a nursing home, the regional health office checks the relevant nursing home inspectors reports; if there is a legal obligation on regional health offices to do this; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20660/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 203 together.

I wish to advise the Deputy that there is no legal obligation on the Health Service Executive to check the inspection reports of a private nursing home prior to placing a patient in that facility. However, the HSE when considering placing a person in such a facility, would have regard to the standards of care provided there. In this regard the results of inspection reports would be taken into account when assessing the suitability of such establishments.

The Department is currently reviewing the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990 and regulations made under the Act to strengthen the powers available to the HSE. This will be a wide-ranging review which will have the rights of patients at its centre and the issues raised by the Deputy will be taken into account as part of the review. It is the intention to have this Bill published later on this year.