Hospital Services

Questions (146)

Gerry Adams

Question:

146. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of staff and the grade in which they are employed in radiology at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; if there is a waiting list for this unit; if so, the number of persons on the waiting list; the length of time they been waiting; and the number of staff vacancies within the department. [41379/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Services

Questions (147)

Gerry Adams

Question:

147. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the hours per week which the CT scanner in Louth County Hospital is operative. [41380/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Services

Questions (148)

Gerry Adams

Question:

148. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of staff and the grade in which they are employed in the emergency department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; if there is a waiting list for this unit; if so, the number of persons on the waiting list; the length of time they been waiting; and the number of staff vacancies within the department. [41381/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Questions (149)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

149. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce a free care system for persons over 21 years of age for the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41388/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Provision

Questions (150)

James Browne

Question:

150. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the roll-out of the employability programme in association with mental health organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41393/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In order to support the employment of those with enduring mental illness, the Mental Health Services in the HSE intends to make individual placement support available in each CHO. The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach ensures the development of opportunities for people with mental health difficulties to remain in, or to access, work in mainstream settings and to support employers in addressing attendant recruitment and retention issues. Individuals are also offered supports to access opportunities which are based on their skills and interests.

It is agreed that 23.5 IPS Employment Specialists will be recruited by employment agencies, with one additional post funded through Service Reform Fund general grant funding for a total of 24.5 positions. All posts will be in place by the end of quarter 4, 2018. There are an additional 5 Early Intervention in Psychosis posts which will also be in place by the end of quarter 4, 2018. The Early Intervention in Psychosis program will share a number of activities with the general IPS rollout including training, fidelity reviews and resources.

To facilitate the roll-out of the IPS Employment Specialists:

- An IPS steering group has been established.

- Meetings have been held with DEASP, Employment Agencies and the National Occupational Therapist Managers group and they have agreed to the implementation and management of IPS at local level.

- An SLA has been agreed to govern this. To underpin all of this, it is intended to seek the development of a of memorandum of understanding between Department of Health and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to support government policy including a Vision for Change and The Employment Strategy for people with Disability.

- The signing of Service Level Agreements are underway. As of the 5th of October 2018, there are 12 Service Level Agreements (with 13 associated posts) signed. Negotiations are ongoing in a number of CHO areas but it is expected that each CHO area will have an IPS service in place once complete.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (151)

John Lahart

Question:

151. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the reason no additional budgets covering the alcohol remit has been granted to drugs and alcohol task forces in view of the fact that alcohol was added to the remit of drugs task forces some years ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41401/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The national drugs strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery, adopts a population health approach to respond to the misuse of alcohol. The strategy aims to promote and protect health and wellbeing at a population level by delaying the use of alcohol and other drugs among young people, influencing behaviour and challenging social norms and minimising harm for those who have already started to use alcohol or other drugs.

The strategy puts the needs of people and communities at the centre of the response to substance misuse and empowers people to take charge of their own health. It aims to support people and communities in making more positive changes and to influence the wider environment to enable people to make a healthy choice. The strategy complements the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which outlines measures to reduce alcohol consumption and to reduce the harms associated with alcohol.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces play a key role in assessing the extent and nature of the drug problem and in initiating appropriate responses, so that there is a coordinated approach involving all sectors to the problem of substance misuse in local communities. In excess of €27.6m has been allocated to Task Forces by the HSE and the Department of Health for community-based drugs initiatives this year. This level of funding is consistent with the amounts provided for the last four years.

The remit of the Drugs Task Forces was extended to include the problem of alcohol misuse in 2014, in view of the central role they play in coordinating the response to substance misuse at local level. The 2014-2016 Dormant Accounts Action Plan provided a budget of approximately €1m to support the Task Forces in undertaking work at local and regional level to address the alcohol problem.

The Community Action on Alcohol Project (CAAP) was set up in 2014 to provide Task Forces with training on community mobilisation in order to develop coordinated strategies to change behaviour around alcohol and to raise awareness of alcohol related harm. CAAP training for Task Forces is funded by the HSE and is delivered by the Alcohol Forum. A Steering Group chaired by the Drugs Policy Unit in the Department of Health oversees the work of CAAP. By the end of 2017, 16 of the 24 Task Forces had participated on the Central Training Programme.

I recently announced a further €290,000 for Task Forces to support and enhance services addressing drug and alcohol misuse. This money will be allocated in quarter four of 2018. In addition, Task Forces will be consulted by the HSE on the provision of €710,000 for priority projects and services in CHO areas. These resources can be used to support initiatives and treatment services dealing with alcohol misuse.

Drug and Alcohol Task Forces

Questions (152)

John Lahart

Question:

152. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the budget allocation to the drugs and alcohol task forces that operate in County Dublin in each of the years 2011 to 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41402/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The level of funding provided to each of the Drug and alcohol Task Forces operating in County Dublin for the years 2011 to 2018 is set out in the following table. A breakdown of the geographical area covered by each task force can be found at the following website: health.gov.ie/healthy-Ireland/drugs-policy/local-and-regional-task-forces/.

I strongly believe that resources should be directed towards interventions that are most effective in reducing problem substance use. Measuring the effectiveness of responses to the drug problem is therefore an important objective of public policy. Towards this end, my Department will develop a performance measurement system by 2020 which will improve accountability across all sectors, including the Task Forces.

Funding provided to Task Forces operating in Co. Dublin 2011 to 2018

LDATF

2011

2012

2013

2014 DOH

2014 HSE

2015 DOH

2015 HSE

Ballyfermot

€1,492,413

€1,569,489

€1,522,404

€461,150

€1,025,582

€255,446

€1,231,286

Ballymun

€1,209,976

€1,180,695

€1,145,274

€632,817

€488,098

€422,958

€697,957

Blanchardstown

€1,152,227

€1,124,343

€1,090,613

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

Canal Communities

€1,600,987

€1,562,243

€1,515,376

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

Clondalkin

€1,455,032

€1,421,577

€1,428,930

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

Dublin 12

€1,148,145

€1,120,360

€1,086,749

€74,013

€990,134

€70,997

€993,150

Dublin NE

€1,259,256

€1,228,782

€988,234

€422,251

€594,836

€422,251

€594,836

Dun Laoghaire

€949,137

€926,167

€898,382

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

Finglas Cabra

€959,818

€936,590

€908,492

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

NIC

€2,428,391

€2,369,624

€2,298,535

€576,956

€1,652,623

€494,856

€1,734,723

SIC

€2,215,434

€2,161,821

€2,096,966

€255,720

€1,788,337

€176,043

€1,868,014

Tallaght

€1,281,356

€1,250,347

€1,262,837

€452,712

€782,240

€341,438

€893,514

RDATF

2011

2012

2013

2014 DOH

2014 HSE

2015 DOH

2015 HSE

North Dublin City & Co.

€846,574

€826,087

€801,304

€456,080

€321,184

€309,778

€467,486

South West

€870,592

€849,524

€824,038

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

LDATF

2016 DOH

2016 HSE

2017 DOH

2017 HSE

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

Ballyfermot

€255,446

€1,231,286

€255,446

€1,231,286

€255,446

€1,231,286

Ballymun

€422,958

€697,957

€422,958

€697,957

€422,958

€697,957

Blanchardstown

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

€179,305

€913,589

Canal Communities

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

€338,605

€1,141,309

Clondalkin

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

€388,114

€1,007,948

Dublin 12

€70,397

€993,750

€70,397

€993,750

€70,397

€993,750

Dublin NE

€239,971

€777,116

€239,971

€777,116

€239,971

€777,116

Dun Laoghaire

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

€94,676

€786,755

Finglas Cabra

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

€263,277

€627,960

NIC

€394,856

€1,834,723

€394,856

€1,834,723

€394,856

€1,834,723

SIC

€176,043

€1,868,014

€176,043

€1,868,014

€176,043

€1,868,014

Tallaght

€336,022

€898,930

€336,022

€898,930

€336,022

€898,930

RDATF

2016 DOH

2016 HSE

2017 DOH

2017 HSE

2018 DOH

2018 HSE

North Dublin City & Co.

€266,245

€511,019

€266,245

€511,019

€266,245

€511,019

South West

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

€102,820

€696,497

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

Questions (153)

John Lahart

Question:

153. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the suspension of the two projects vital to future developments at Tallaght University Hospital; when these projects will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41403/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Development Plan provides €10.9 billion to invest in infrastructure, equipment and additional service capacity for the public health sector. This represents an increase of 165% in capital funding over the previous decade. The additional capital funding is predominately in the second half of the plan.

With this unprecedented capital investment in the Health services we must ensure that we carefully plan and select projects. This process will be guided by National health strategy and policy including the implementation of Sláintecare.

A key challenge to delivery of the plan concerns the profiling of the capital funding available, whereby the increased annual allocations are back-loaded towards the latter years of the NDP. There are also pressures arising from factors including inflation, increased construction costs due to changes in building regulations and very high level of claims currently being experienced on projects.

As the HSE is responsible for the delivery of health care infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to reply directly to you in relation to the current position on proposed developments at Tallaght University Hospital.

National Children's Hospital Status

Questions (154)

John Lahart

Question:

154. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the timeline for the opening of the new national children's hospital to be located at St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8. [41404/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The new children's hospital on the shared campus with St James's Hospital is scheduled for opening in 2022.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (155)

John Lahart

Question:

155. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the arrangements being made for parking at the new national children's hospital; the number of parking spaces that will be available on site; the number of these which will be allocated to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41405/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Access to the children's hospital at the St James's campus is well served by public transport, however the plans and design for the hospital recognise the need of most families to access the hospital by car.

The plans for the hospital provide for 1,000 car parking spaces, of which 675 will be dedicated for use by families, three times the number of spaces currently available at the three Dublin children's hospitals combined. The car park will be located in the basement of the new children’s hospital. Parents will be able to reserve their space ahead of arriving at the hospital.

The 1000 spaces also include 31 drop-off emergency spaces at ground level outside of the Emergency Department.

Hospital Services

Questions (156)

John Lahart

Question:

156. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the building timeline for the national children's hospital satellite located at Tallaght University Hospital; the services to be provided there; and if helicopter transfer will be available for acute patients. [41406/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly is scheduled to open in 2019 followed by the Centre at Tallaght in 2020 in advance of the opening of the main hospital on the shared campus with St James's Hospital in 2022.

The Centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals are being built with the aim of improving geographic access to urgent care for children in the Greater Dublin Area. The two centres will support primary and community care through the provision of general community and paediatric clinics, including developmental paediatrics, multidisciplinary care for children with chronic stable conditions and other outpatient services.

Each Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre will provide consultant-led urgent care, with 4-6 hour observation beds, appropriate diagnostics and secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics as well as child sexual abuse unit examination, observation and therapy rooms. Each centre is projected to deal with 25,000 urgent care and 15,000 outpatient attendances every year.

The centres will provide services and environments of the same quality as those delivered in the new children’s hospital, with staff rotating through the outpatient and urgent care centres and the main hospital.

There will be an elevated helipad at the new children's hospital, which will have direct and rapid access to the critical care, theatre and emergency departments within the hospital. This enhanced direct and rapid access will improve clinical outcomes for the sickest children and young people.

The Air Corps is the primary provider of paediatric helicopter services to the National Ambulance Service. Air Corps helicopters comprising Augusta Westland AW139 can land on a raised landing site or the roof of a building which is designed and certified for such operations. The Irish Coast Guard provides reserve support to the National Ambulance Service, when required, through its Sikorsky S92 search and rescue fleet primarily for search and rescue missions. The Sikorsky S92 helicopters are not licensed to land on helipads and, for access to the St. James's Campus, would land in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham from which patients would be transferred in an ambulance by road, which is current practice.

The majority of patient transfers to the three Dublin children’s hospitals are completed by road. In any major emergency rescue in a rural area, a Sikorsky Helicopter will bring the patient to the nearest regional hospital for stabilisation resulting in an appropriately planned transfer to the new children’s hospital.

In relation to your specific query regarding helicopter transfers at Tallaght Hospital, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly, as soon as possible.

Primary Care Centres Data

Questions (157, 162)

John Lahart

Question:

157. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the details of primary care centres in an area (details supplied). [41407/18]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

162. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the status of the proposed primary care centre to be located on a site (details supplied); the services to be provided; the anchor general practitioners that will take up residency; the areas to be serviced; the timeline for the construction and opening of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41412/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 157 and 162 together.

As the HSE has responsibility for the provision, along with the maintenance and operation of Primary Care Centres and other Primary Care facilities, the Executive has been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

National Maternity Hospital

Questions (158, 159)

John Lahart

Question:

158. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the status of the ownership of the proposed new national maternity hospital. [41408/18]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

159. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the funding mechanism for the new national maternity hospital. [41409/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 158 and 159 together.

The new maternity hospital on the St Vincent's campus will be funded by the State and indeed has been included in Project Ireland 2040 - the National Development Plan 2018-2027. The development will represent the flagship project of the National Maternity Strategy and constitute the largest single investment ever made in maternity services in Ireland.

A draft legal framework is currently being finalised which will inter alia ensure that the State's significant investment in the new hospital will be protected.

General Practitioner Data

Questions (160)

John Lahart

Question:

160. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the number of general practitioners in private practice in an area (details supplied); the number due to retire in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41410/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

General Practitioners are self-employed, private practitioners and are free to establish a practice wherever they wish. Many GPs have contracts with the HSE to provide services under various public health schemes, however GPs are under no obligation to enter into such contracts.

Neither my Department or the HSE have information relating to GPs who are engaged exclusively in private practice.

Home Care Packages Provision

Question No. 162 answered with Question No. 157.

Questions (161)

John Lahart

Question:

161. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the large backlog of persons awaiting approval of homecare packages in the CHO7 region; his plans to increase the funds for homecare in that area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41411/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Home Support Service is a core service for older people and is highly valued by service users, their families and by the HSE. It provides supports which assist older people to live independently in their own homes for longer and enables large numbers of people to return home following acute hospital admission who otherwise would remain in hospital or would be admitted to long stay residential care. Following today’s Budget announcement, the HSE and officials from the Department of Health will immediately commence the process of developing and agreeing the HSE National Service Plan 2019, which will set out, in detail, the type and quantum of services to be delivered in 2019 including in relation to services for older people.

Question No. 162 answered with Question No. 157.

Medicinal Products Availability

Questions (163)

John Brassil

Question:

163. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health if the drug Cariban available on the GMS and DPS schemes for the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum for pregnant women will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41428/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE has statutory responsibility for medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions, in accordance with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

Cariban is not licensed as a medicine in Ireland, as it does not have a marketing authorisation from the Health Products Regulatory Authority or the European Medicines Agency.

For Cariban to be reimbursed through the community drug schemes, the supplier must first obtain a marketing authorisation and then apply to the HSE for reimbursement approval. In the absence of a marketing authorisation, the HSE is not in a position to consider whether it should reimburse this product.

However, the Deputy might note that some consultants prescribe Cariban and that some maternity hospitals dispense it to patients with severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (164)

Martin Ferris

Question:

164. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health the status of joint operations at University Hospital Kerry; and the number of patients waiting for same at the hospital. [41451/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families. However, the provision of a safe service for all of our patients is also paramount.

The HSE advise that the elective Arthroplasty (joint replacement) service at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) has been suspended to allow for a review of the infection control protocol. During this time significant structural and process improvements/upgrades have been made including the physical relocation of the ward. The elective arthroplasty service will recommence week beginning 15 October.

The HSE further note that no other aspect of the orthopaedic service has been affected by this closure and that emergency arthroplasty services have continued throughout this period. UHK Management are liaising with the orthopaedic surgeons regarding how best to address backlog, which will be performed internally.

Waiting list data complied by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) for the end of September indicates that 154 patients are awaiting orthopaedic inpatient or daycase procedures at UHK, of which 152 (98.7%) are waiting less than 9 months.

Hospital Services

Questions (165)

Martin Ferris

Question:

165. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Health when the new operating theatre at University Hospital Kerry is expected to be in operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41452/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.