Health Services Data

Questions (313, 314, 315, 316)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

313. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health #the location of each of the adult and adolescent medical detoxification units and community based residential detoxification beds, respectively. [24896/19]

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Dessie Ellis

Question:

314. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the location of each of the adult and adolescent residential rehabilitation beds, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24897/19]

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Dessie Ellis

Question:

315. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the number of medical detoxification beds and the locations of each for adults and adolescents; the cost per annum of a medical detoxification bed for adults and adolescents, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24898/19]

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Dessie Ellis

Question:

316. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Health the number of community based residential detoxification beds; the locations of same for adults and adolescents, respectively; the cost per annum of a community based residential detoxification bed for adults and adolescents, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24899/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 313 to 316, inclusive, together.

As these are service matters, they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Questions (317)

John Brassil

Question:

317. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of patients waiting less than 12, 12 to 24, 24 to 36 and more than 36 months for MRI scans at University Hospital Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24905/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The HSE advise that a pilot project commenced in 2016 by the HSE Acute Hospitals Division to progress the collection of national radiology waiting list data. The project has been supported by the Radiology Clinical Care Programme and has involved key stakeholders across the system including the National Integrated Medical Imaging System Team, Hospital Groups, and the support of the National Treatment Purchase Fund for data collection and data management expertise.

The HSE further advise that the waiting list data provided should be reviewed in light of the caveats below, and in this context that data should not be quoted or circulated without these caveats:

- Data contains urgent, routine and surveillance/planned activity which is currently not broken down in detail, as such this includes surveillance/planned activity which may not be exceeding planned date

- Data is still undergoing validation at Hospital and Hospital Group level

- Data does not take into account local nuances at site level (Site profile developed to support understanding of same)

- The purpose of this aggregate data is to provide a National Level overview of the number of patients waiting for modalities of CT, MR and US.

- This report is not intended to be used for the active management of hospital diagnostics waiting list, local reports and mechanisms should continue to be used for the management of diagnostics waiting lists at hospital level."

MRI waiting times at University Hospital Kerry - The figures below represents the position as of April 1st 2019

0-3 mths

3-6 mths

6-9 mths

9-12 mths

12-15 mths

15-18 mths

18+ mths

Total

363

262

200

134

146

129

520

1754

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (318)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

318. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the status of the HSE recruitment freeze which was due to be lifted in June 2019; when the recruitment freeze will be lifted; when recruitment will recommence for vacant posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24909/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

HSE Staff Recruitment

Questions (319)

Dara Calleary

Question:

319. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the application process for a healthcare assistant to obtain a HSE contract; his plans to establish a panel for same; the timeline for the establishment of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24913/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly on this matter.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (320)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

320. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will receive a procedure in St. James’s Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24915/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Childcare Services

Questions (321)

John Brassil

Question:

321. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health his plans to remove the in loco parentis clause from HSE policy in view of the fact that it is causing hardship for many families and is perceived as unworkable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24918/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Orthodontic Services Waiting Lists

Questions (322)

John Brassil

Question:

322. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of children approved and waiting for treatment on the orthodontic waiting list in counties Kerry and Cork; the number from County Kerry; the details for same in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24919/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Legislative Programme

Questions (323)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

323. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the status of the Adult Safeguarding Bill 2017; the work his officials are undertaking with regard to a regulatory framework to support such a Bill; when adult safeguarding and an independent advocacy service will be in place nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24924/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Adult Safeguarding Bill 2017 is a Private Members Bill which passed Second Stage in the Seanad in April 2017.

Separately, following my recommendation on the need to develop a policy for the sector under my remit, the Government approved the development of a new national policy on adult safeguarding in the health sector and my Department is progressing this work. The development of a clear, coherent, carefully considered and implementable national sectorial policy for adult safeguarding is a complex undertaking which will involve consideration of a wide range of issues. These are likely to include, as appropriate, regulatory and advocacy issues. The policy development work, including stakeholder engagement will continue throughout 2019. I expect to circulate a draft policy for public consultation in 2020 with a view to submitting a final version of a policy to Government thereafter. The health sectorial policy will apply across the full spectrum of the Irish health and social care sector including all public, voluntary and private health and social care services, and will also address key interfaces between the health sector and other key sectors. Upon completion of the national adult safeguarding policy for the health sector, any underpinning legislation required to give full effect to the policy will be pursued as appropriate. It is important that clear and well developed principles and a policy are formulated in the first instance, to provide a solid foundation upon which legislation can be devised.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (324)

Micheál Martin

Question:

324. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if he and his officials received the second Scally report before the contract was extended to include all of the extra cervical tests done in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24926/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Supplementary Report of the Scoping Inquiry follows on from Dr Scally’s Final Report published last September. On completion of that Report, I requested Dr Scally to do further work to address some outstanding issues relating to the laboratories. Dr Scally’s Supplementary Report was received in my Department on Tuesday 4th June. I met with Dr Scally on Friday, 7th June where he briefed me on his report and assured me that he saw no issue with the new capacity arrangements being made by the HSE. Government approved the Supplementary Report of the Scoping Inquiry on Tuesday 11th June, and it has now been published on the website of my Department.

In advance of providing the Supplementary Report, Dr Scally wrote to me on 19th February to advise that it would take longer than anticipated to complete his report. In that letter he advised that he had found no reason to revise the view that he took in his main report that, as far as can be ascertained, all the current laboratories have performance which is acceptable in their country.

Following a global search, Quest Diagnostics was identified by the HSE as able to provide the necessary additional capacity to ensure continuation of the CervicalCheck programme, something which was identified by Dr Scally in his Final Report last September as being of crucial importance. Quality assurance visits were undertaken, and the HSE advises that the contract with Quest for this additional capacity was signed on 7th June.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Questions (325)

Micheál Martin

Question:

325. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if he or his officials have spoken to or written to a company (details supplied) after receiving the Scally report in which it concludes that the HSE and his Department should have been informed before or at least when laboratories were changed in the United States of America; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24927/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Supplementary Report of the Scoping Inquiry was received in my Department on Tuesday 4 June. The Report was published following a Government decision on 11 June.

The report found that the number of laboratories involved in CervicalCheck work was greater than was originally thought, 16 in total, and that the use of many of these laboratories was not approved in advance by CervicalCheck, nor was it known to it.

Crucially, however, on the basis of the information available to the Inquiry, the use of these additional laboratories did not result in a reduction in the quality of the screening provided to Irish women and there is no evidence to suggest deficiencies in screening quality in any laboratory. All Quest Diagnostics laboratories, including the four additional laboratories identified in this report, were accredited at the time they were providing the services, and the Supplementary Report finds that the two major accreditation standards in use (ISO and CAP) are comparable.

Two additional recommendations are made in the Supplementary Report, which relate to contract specifications and quality assurance. Government has accepted these recommendations, which will be implemented along with Dr Scally’s existing recommendations. These include seven recommendations of Dr Scally’s Final Report in relation to procurement, and recommendations relating to laboratory services and wider screening services included in the Final Report of the Scoping Inquiry. Implementation of these recommendations is well underway, and progress to date includes recruitment of a National Laboratory QA lead, and development of a project improvement plan for screening quality assurance programmes based on international best practice. Dr Scally acknowledged in his Supplementary Report that substantial and important progress has been made in implementing his recommendations to date. A progress report on implementation for Quarter 1 2019 is published on my Department's website.

While Dr Scally is clear that he considers the lack of transparency by the laboratory companies about the precise location of their screening services provided to CervicalCheck, the Deputy may wish to note that Dr Scally's report does not suggest Quest should have informed my Department of the use of additional laboratories. The contract for the provision of services by Quest Diagnostics is with the HSE and engagement with Quest is a matter for the HSE rather than for my Department. The Deputy will be aware that the HSE recently concluded negotiations with Quest Diagnostics to provide additional laboratory capacity which will ensure that the CervicalCheck programme can continue to operate. In addition to the capacity at its current laboratory, new capacity has been provided by Quest at four other Quest facilities in the United States, all of which have been inspected and approved by the National Screening Service.

Home Help Service

Questions (326, 327)

Micheál Martin

Question:

326. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health his views regarding the lack of home help hours nationally; if the allocation has been spent; if his attention has been drawn to the impact this is having on elderly persons in their homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24932/19]

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Micheál Martin

Question:

327. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if the HSE has been in contact with him regarding difficulties recruiting or financing home help hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24933/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 326 and 327 together.

Home supports enable older people to remain in their own homes and communities, as well as facilitating timely discharge from hospital. The Government has made improved access to home support services a priority. This is reflected in the ongoing additional investment made in these services in recent years with the budget growing from €306 million in 2015 to almost €446 million in 2019. That is about a 45% increase in the annual budget for home support.

In 2018, the total budget for the service was €416.8 million, providing over 17.5 million hours. This year the HSE intends to provide over 18.2 million home support hours, including intensive home care packages, to over 53,000 people. In 2019 almost €30 million has been added to the home support budget. When one looks at the year-on-year targets, this means that this year’s National Service Plan aims to deliver about 800,000 more hours than what was targeted in the 2018 National Service Plan.

The allocation of funding for home supports, though significant, is finite and services must be delivered within the funding available. The Home Support Service is not demand led and is therefore operated in line with agreed budgetary limits and targets as set out in the HSE National Service Plan.

The allocation has not been spent for 2019, however, to achieve compliance with its funding allocation, the HSE must ensure that the value of the total number of hours provided does not exceed the budget. This means that the HSE must manage its service delivery over the course of the year to align with the total funding available. It also has a responsibility to ensure that activity is planned to anticipate critical demand pressures, most particularly emergency pressures in the initial and latter parts of the year.

While there have been some reports to the contrary recently, it is not correct to say that no new clients will be allocated home supports for the next five months. However, we know that from the information provided by the HSE, over 6,000 people are waiting for a home support package or additional hours. The allocation of new hours will be based on clients’ needs and the resources available. Recycling of hours will continue in line with budgetary management.

While the existing home support service is delivering crucial support to many people across the country, the Government fully accepts that it needs to be further improved to better meet the changing needs of our citizens. It is for that reason that the Department is progressing the development of a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home support services. The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to the introduction of the new scheme in 2021. As part of this work my Department will be examining a number of key issues and inter-dependencies including a framework for regulation and standards, funding and staff capacity.

Home Support Service

Questions (328)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

328. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Health the number of persons approved but still on a waiting list for home support services in counties Galway and Roscommon to date; the number of applications received for home support services in the counties to date; the number of applications in both counties which will now be restricted due to the freeze on receiving new applications in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24936/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Addiction Treatment Services

Questions (329)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

329. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an addiction counselling service (details supplied) in County Donegal has ceased to provide service; his views on whether such an absence will have a detrimental impact on the health and well-being of service users in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24938/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the information you have requested comes under the remit of the Health Service Executive, your query has been forwarded to the HSE for direct reply.

Hospital Appointments Status

Questions (330)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

330. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the length of time a person (details supplied) will have to wait for an appointment to see a neurologist in Cork University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24949/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.

The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation

Questions (331)

Clare Daly

Question:

331. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) has taken responsibility for a doctor on the supervised section of the Irish Medical Council register to work as an ENT consultant at University Hospital Limerick without restriction for the best part of a year. [24951/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation

Questions (332)

Clare Daly

Question:

332. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if the attention of a person (details supplied) was drawn either verbally or in writing to the fact that a supervising consultant breached the Irish Medical Council regulations on appropriate supervision by being overseen for much of their tenure including emergency duties. [24952/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

Health and Social Care Professionals Regulation

Questions (333)

Clare Daly

Question:

333. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if concerns were expressed by a senior clinician to the senior management and directorate of University Hospital Limerick in regard to a physician or clinical and professional performance of a surgeon with a demand from their colleague for a review of their cases; and if the relevant Q-Pulse submissions have been ignored to date. [24953/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.