Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (520, 521, 522, 523)

John Lahart

Question:

520. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the reason persons people with dementia and their carers are still waiting for equitable and fair access to the supports and services they need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29964/19]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

521. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health his views on the perceived acute inequality of dementia services between counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29965/19]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

522. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the reason there is a lack of dementia advisers by county despite increased demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29966/19]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

523. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Health the funding allocated to dementia care in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29967/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 520 to 523, inclusive, together.

The aim of the National Dementia Strategy, which was published in December 2014, is to improve dementia care so that people with dementia can live well for as long as possible, can ultimately die with comfort and dignity, and can have services and supports delivered in the best way possible.

Under the National Dementia Strategy Implementation Programme, funding has been provided for measures to raise public awareness, address stigma, and promote the inclusion and involvement in society of people with dementia.  The Programme has also provided for the rollout of dementia-specific intensive home care packages, training in diagnosing and management of dementia for GPs and primary care teams and the establishment of a National Dementia Office within the HSE.

The HSE provides approximately €7.9 million per annum for dementia-specific intensive home care packages, which facilitate people with dementia who have complex needs to remain living at home. Since the introduction of these packages at the end of 2014, 443 dementia-specific intensive homecare packages have been delivered, with 201 active at the end of March 2019. 

People with dementia can also avail of standard Home Support Services for Older People, on the basis of need and within the resources available. A total of €426 million has been allocated for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.

In relation to the Dementia Adviser Service established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in 2014, there are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE since 2016.  €400,000 has been allocated by the HSE in each of the last 3 years towards the cost of the service and the HSE has agreed to continue this level of support in 2019 and future years.

The HSE also provides €12.68 million to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers on behalf of the HSE. 

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.

With regard to the level of funding by county between 2015 and 2019, as this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy.