Thursday, 8 November 2012

Questions (44)

John Browne


44. Deputy John Browne asked the Minister for Health the action he will take on foot of the recent NESC report Quality and Standards in Human Services in Ireland: End of Life Care in Hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48936/12]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Government policy on Palliative Care is contained in the Report of the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care (2001) and the Health Service Executive Five Year / Medium Term Framework for Palliative Care Services (2009-13).

In common with a series of NESC reports, the one raised by the Deputy in relation to End of Life Care in Hospitals, calls for various actions. These reflect to varying degrees initiatives currently being pursued by the Department and the HSE and include, for example, implementation of existing commitments on quality, increased professionalisation of care, and improving performance indicators or other measures at national and local levels to ensure optimum delivery of palliative care.

The Government remains committed to the delivery of the best possible palliative and End-of-Life care services nationally including addressing geographical deficits and progressing agreed paediatric care policy.

The recent report by NESC is a valuable contribution to on-going consideration of developing these policies and services in the future, and it is in that context being examined in detail by the Department.