Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (91)

Bobby Aylward


91. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health his plans to implement 24-7 cardiac care services for those living in the south east; his views on whether there is an equal provision of cardiac services in the region in comparison with the rest of the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12015/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In 2016, the Herity Report concluded that the needs of the effective catchment population of University Hospital Waterford (UHW) could be accommodated from a single cath lab and recommended that the operating hours of the existing cath lab should be extended. Approval and funding has been provided for the additional staff required to facilitate this service expansion and five staff (Grade IV Admin, Porter, Senior Cardiac Physiologist, Senior Radiographer and Staff Nurse) have now been recruited on an 8am to 8pm working day basis. Furthermore, the recruitment of a cardiologist to facilitate an increase in the operating hours of the existing cath lab is also being progressed by the HSE.

A mobile cath lab has also been deployed at UHW since October 2017 to conduct diagnostic cardiac procedures pending the recruitment of the additional staff required to extend the opening hours of the existing cath lab.

I remain committed to the provision of a second cath lab in University Hospital Waterford and I asked the HSE to consider the cost of progressing the project to design, planning and construction stages in the context of the HSE’s Capital Plan for 2019.

I am please to advise the Deputy that the HSE has confirmed that this project has now been included in the HSE’s Capital Programme 2019 and has been granted a capital allocation for 2019 to appoint the design team and to progress the design of the project.

The Herity Report also recommended that the current 9 to 5 provision of emergency pPCI services should cease to allow the hospital focus on the much larger volume of planned work. The Minister for Health asked his Department to address the implications of this recommendation by arranging for a National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services. The aim of this Review is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive by establishing the need for an optimal configuration of a national adult cardiac service.