Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (97, 133)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

97. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health his plans to tackle diabetes nationwide, particularly paediatric diabetes; if he will commit to ensuring that the paediatric diabetes care posts are filled as soon as possible, to allow for the insulin pump service to be available to more than 130 diabetic children attending Letterkenny General Hospital, County Donegal. [30381/13]

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Mick Wallace

Question:

133. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Health the reasons for the current pace of development of diabetes health services in County Wexford; the reasons the Health Service Executive has not yet filled sanctioned posts in critical areas of diabetes care in the county (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30384/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97 and 133 together.

The National Integrated Care Diabetes Programme is being implemented on a phased basis. The programme will improve patient access and manage patient care in an integrated manner across service settings, resulting in better outcomes, enhanced clinical decision making and the most effective use of resources.

The Government has approved funding for the appointment of 17 Integrated Care Diabetes Nurse Specialists (one per HSE Integrated Service Area)to support the phased roll out of the programme. These Diabetes Nurse Specialists will work 1 day per week in a hospital setting and 4 days per week in primary care. They will play a key role in the development of clinically sound collaborative links between primary care and secondary care providers and will also be an essential resource in empowering patients to achieve optimum diabetes control. To date 15 posts have been offered or accepted, subject to Garda clearance, etc. It is anticipated that all 17 positions will be filled soon.

Funding has also been secured to appoint 16 podiatrists and a number of these posts have been filled. Recruitment for the remaining posts is underway and the aim is to have them filled as soon as possible in 2013. With regard to paediatric diabetes, the HSE has advised that a national model of care to deliver CSII (insulin pump) therapy to children with type 1 diabetes under 5 years of age has been developed. Recruitment of 2.4 WTE nurses and 1.75 WTE dieticians has been agreed and is being progressed. In relation to the filling of diabetes posts in specific areas, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in these matters.