Services for People with Disabilities

Questions (244)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

244. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the negative impacts of reconfiguration efforts on a service in County Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15656/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has recognised the need to increase the level of consistency and standardisation in the way services for children with disabilities are delivered. It is currently engaged in a reconfiguration of existing therapy resources to multidisciplinary geographic based teams for children as part of the National Programme on Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People (0-18 years).

The aim of the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People Programme is to achieve a national, unified approach to delivering disability health services so that there is a clear pathway to services for all children, regardless of where they live, what school they go to or the nature of their disability.

The Programme is organised at national, regional and local level and includes representatives from the health and education sectors, non-statutory service providers and parents. An additional €4m has been specifically allocated in 2014 to drive implementation of the Programme. This equates to approximately 80 therapy posts.

My Department has asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in respect of the specific local operational issue that he has raised.

Medical Card Reviews

Questions (245)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

245. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if persons in residential institutions will be sent reminder letters in the event of no response being received to medical card review notices; if he is concerned that some persons in residential institutions are not receiving their review notices prior to the cancellation of their cards; if this is a common problem; if so, the number of cases the medical card unit has encountered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15659/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The information sought by the Deputy is not readily available. However, I have asked the Health Service Executive to supply this information to me and I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Ambulance Service Response Times

Questions (246)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

246. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health if he is concerned by the findings of the "Prime Time Investigates" programme on the ambulance service, broadcast on 27 March 2014; if he will take immediate action to address problems in the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15672/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Ambulance Service is working to modernise and reconfigure its services to ensure emergency pre-hospital care is delivered in an appropriate and timely manner. As with pre-hospital care in other jurisdictions, development and modernisation is an ongoing process, as technology and clinical standards change.

While accepting the need to further improve performance, it is important to acknowledge that progress is being made. A significant reform programme is currently underway within the National Ambulance Service and additional funding of €3.6 million and 43 staff have been provided for this in the National Service Plan 2014.

A single national control system is being developed, which will improve the control and dispatch process. The NAS is developing the Intermediate Care Service, which transports patients between facilities, and allows emergency vehicles to focus on emergency situations. Work is continuing on the development of efficient on-duty rostering and developing a national rostering system.

The NAS, as well as the immense work it has undertaken to improve its own clinical standards and processes, works with other clinical areas, like the Emergency Medicine, Acute Coronary and Medicine Transport programmes, to support their work in providing better patient care.

I am committed to making further improvements to the ambulance service. To this end three separate reviews of pre-hospital emergency care in Ireland are currently underway:

- HIQA is examining governance arrangements, to ensure the timely assessment, diagnosis, initial management and transport of acutely ill patients to appropriate care;

- A joint review of Dublin ambulance services has been commissioned by Dublin City Council and the HSE to determine the optimal and most cost-effective model of ambulance services delivery for the city.

- An independent review of NAS capacity is being undertaken to determine the level and use of resourcing required in terms of staff, vehicles, skills and distribution, for a safe and effective service now and into the future.

These reviews will inform the development of a modern, clinically driven system, properly resourced, for appropriate and timely services to the benefit of patients.

The NAS will continue to modernise and reconfigure its services, to deliver timely and appropriate emergency pre-hospital care. The ongoing reform programme will provide a clinically driven, nationally co-ordinated system, supported by improved technology.

Departmental Funding

Question No. 248 answered with Question No. 33.

Questions (247)

Noel Grealish

Question:

247. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the amount of financial support supplied by his Department for any programmes conducted by the IMO, the Irish College of General Practitioners, Spunout.ie, Alcohol Action Ireland and Drugs.ie for each of the past four years, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; and their allocation from his Department for 2014. [15683/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

There is no record of payment by my Department to any of the organisations referred to by the Deputy for the period concerned.

Question No. 248 answered with Question No. 33.

Road Safety Data

Question No. 250 withdrawn.

Questions (249)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

249. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the number of fatalities on our roads this year; if he is satisfied with the operation of the Road Safety Authority; if he believes it has the resources needed fully to carry out its duties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15170/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As of 1 April  2014, the total number of fatalities on our roads in 2014 is 43.  That is a decrease of 5 on the same period last year.  From 415 deaths on our roads in 2001, we have seen a dramatic reduction to 190 deaths in 2013. However I am concerned that in the year 2013 there was an increase in road deaths from 2012.

I meet regularly with all of the bodies and agencies that have responsibility for road safety, including the Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to ensure that all necessary measures are identified and taken to improve safety on our roads.

I launched the Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020 last year. This contains 144 Actions to be implemented by the various agencies involved in order to build on the previous Strategies with the objective of improving safety, sustainably on our roads and making Ireland among the safest countries for road safety.

Aside from the Strategy, the Road Traffic Act 2014, was signed into law by the President on 25th February.  This legislation introduces measures which will further contribute to road safety in the years to come. The Act provides for further Graduated Driver Licensing measures, adjustments to the penalty points system, increasing demerits for the most dangerous offences such as speeding and operating a mobile phone while driving and new measures to combat intoxicated driving.

My officials are also in the early stages of drafting the Road Traffic Bill 2014 which will contain further measures to improve safety on our roads.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is funded through a combination of Exchequer and non-Exchequer funding.  The RSA Exchequer allocation for 2014 is €3.37 million, which represents 5% of its projected income for the year. The remaining 95% is provided from revenues from the services provided by the Authority such as driver testing and National Car Testing.  I am satisfied that the RSA receives all of the necessary resources and assistance it requires from my Department in carrying out its functions.  In addition, I am satisfied with the operation of the Road Safety Authority and I am confident that its new CEO will continue to build on the excellent work done by the Authority since its establishment in 2006.

Question No. 250 withdrawn.