Climate Change Policy

Question No. 443 answered with Question No. 406.

Questions (442)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

442. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the recurring weekly meetings attended by either her or the Secretary General of her Department in 2019 at which climate change and or preparations within her Department to enact a climate plan has been an agenda item; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31334/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I welcome the recent publication of the Climate Action Plan 2019. The plan was published following intensive engagement between my officials and officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the actions proposed for delivery by enterprise and by my Department and its agencies. I also met with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment during the development of the plan.

The Secretary General of my Department chairs weekly meetings of the Department’s Management Board. The Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for coordinating my Department’s inputs to the plan provided updates on the status of the plan and the nature of the actions proposed for delivery by the Department and its agencies to the Management Board as required. Officials who were directly engaged with officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the development of the plan also gave a presentation to the Management Board on the plan.

Following the publication of the plan, a paper was circulated to our Ministerial Management Board outlining the actions proposed for delivery by my Department and its agencies.

The above actions are in addition to the regular and ongoing engagement between officials across the Department and its agencies on the plan and the steps for delivery of the actions assigned to the Department therein.

My Secretary General will attend the first meeting of the Climate Action Delivery Board next week. My Department is committed to the delivery of the actions in the plan.

Question No. 443 answered with Question No. 406.

Personal Injury Claims

Questions (444)

Michael McGrath

Question:

444. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when a new book of quantum for personal injuries will be published; the work ongoing on the book of quantum; if the book of quantum will be phased out in view of the fact that guidelines from the judicial council are forthcoming; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31427/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Personal Injuries Commission (PIC) was established by my Department in 2017 to compare Ireland’s personal injury claims processes against other jurisdictions, to benchmark international personal injury awards with those in Ireland, to report on alternative compensation and resolution models and make recommendations which could enhance the Irish claims environment.

During its 18 month work programme which concluded in July 2018, the PIC delivered two reports with 14 recommendations. One of its recommendations was that a Judicial Council, when established, be requested by the Minister for Justice and Equality to compile judicial guidelines for appropriate general damages for various types of personal injury.

The Judicial Council Bill, which completed Report and Final Stages in the Seanad on 9 July 2019, will provide for the establishment of a Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee whose sole purpose will be to develop guidelines for various types of personal injury which will fall to be adopted by the Judicial Council.

The enactment of the Judicial Council Bill will effectively supersede the requirement for a Book of Quantum, as the Personal Injuries Guidelines Committee will draw up guidelines on the level of damages which should be awarded in personal injuries actions. This should help to promote consistency in the level of personal injuries damages awarded by the courts.

BOQ

National Dementia Strategy

Questions (445)

Jackie Cahill

Question:

445. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health if a commitment will be made in budget 2020 to invest €18 million towards community supports and home care for persons with dementia; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31026/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As a response to the challenges facing people with dementia and their families and carers, the National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy contains 35 priority and additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE. The Office has made substantial progress towards developing evidence-based care pathways for people with dementia. Progress made to date and future plans, are recorded in the mid-term review of the Strategy's implementation, which was published in May 2018.

In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a project to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports. It provides a useful snapshot and baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered. The study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website at

https://www.understandtogether.ie/get-support/service-finder/.

This allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.

Nationally, the HSE is providing approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare Packages this year to 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 provided for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.

€400,000 has been allocated by the HSE towards the cost of the Dementia Adviser service this year, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding in future years. There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE.

In addition to the above services, the HSE granted €12.68 million in 2018 to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers.

The Department of Health has also secured €6.26 million in Dormant Accounts funding for a range of additional projects being implemented by the National Dementia Office projects including a post-diagnostic support pathway project, a dementia diagnostic project and a national network of memory technology resource rooms.

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

National Dementia Strategy

Questions (446)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

446. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the level of dementia services and supports by county; his plans to increase funding for dementia support services in 2019 and 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30468/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a project to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports. It provides a useful snapshot and baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered. The study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website at https://www.understandtogether.ie/get-support/service-finder/. This allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.

This year, the HSE is providing approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare 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 provided for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.

€400,000 has been allocated by the HSE towards the cost of the Dementia Adviser service this year, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding in future years. There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE.

In addition to the above services, the HSE granted €12.68 million in 2018 to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers.

The Department of Health has also secured €6.26 million in Dormant Accounts funding for a range of additional projects being implemented by the National Dementia Office projects including a post-diagnostic support pathway project, a dementia diagnostic project and a national network of memory technology resource rooms.

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

Vaccination Programme

Questions (447)

Mary Butler

Question:

447. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the status of the implementation of a national pertussis whooping cough vaccination programme for pregnant women in the health service. [30471/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is an independent committee which makes recommendations to my Department on vaccination policy in Ireland. In 2012, NIAC recommended a low dose tetanus (T), diphtheria (d) and acellular pertussis (p) booster (Tdap) to provide protection for babies in the first few months of life. In September 2013, the HSE made Tdap vaccine available free of charge for pregnant women via the National Cold Chain Delivery Service to GPs and maternity hospitals.

In September 2016, NIAC published new recommendations for Tdap:

- pregnant women should be offered Tdap as early as possible after 16 weeks and up to 36 weeks gestation in each pregnancy, to protect themselves and their infant;

- Tdap vaccine can be given at any time in pregnancy after 36 weeks gestation although it may be less effective in providing passive protection to the infant;

- Tdap vaccine should be offered in the week after delivery to those women who were not vaccinated during their pregnancy.

The pertussis vaccine is provided free of charge to pregnant women. Since November 2018 all pregnant women receive pertussis vaccination from their GP free of charge.

Infectious Disease Epidemics

Questions (448)

Mary Butler

Question:

448. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if a case and incident management system for health protection to support more efficient and robust reporting and management of infectious disease outbreaks has been developed. [30472/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department is currently developing a National Framework for the Control of Infectious Diseases, to be completed in 2020.

The goal of the framework is to ensure a coordinated, strategic approach to maintaining and improving infectious disease control to meet ever-changing risks to society in Ireland, within the international context of infectious disease. The framework will address infectious disease prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as enhanced organisation and delivery of infectious disease control, in order to drive improvements and support an integrated approach to the control of communicable disease in Ireland.

Measures to support more efficient and robust reporting and management of infectious disease outbreaks will be explored in this context.

Infectious Diseases

Questions (449)

Mary Butler

Question:

449. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the measures being taken in 2019 to enhance the control of tuberculosis. [30473/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a matter for the Health Service Executive, I have asked them to reply directly to the Deputy.

Public Health Policy

Questions (450)

Mary Butler

Question:

450. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the development of a new operating model for public health. [30474/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

An Implementation Oversight Group has been established by my Department (together with an Implementation Working Group established in the HSE) to oversee the development and implementation of a new model for the delivery of public health medicine in Ireland. I am informed that all work modules are on track and it is intended that the HSE will present a draft future model to my Department for consideration in early September. Engagement with the IMO regarding consultant status and remuneration for specialists in Public Health Medicine will intensify through August and September.

HSE Data

Questions (451)

John Brassil

Question:

451. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who availed of physiotherapy in a primary care setting during the first six months of 2019. [30475/19]

View answer

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.

Occupational Therapy Data

Questions (452)

John Brassil

Question:

452. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who availed of occupational therapy in a primary care setting during the first six months of 2019. [30476/19]

View answer

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Data

Questions (453)

John Brassil

Question:

453. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who availed of speech and language therapy in a primary care setting during the first six months of 2019. [30477/19]

View answer

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.

HSE Data

Questions (454)

John Brassil

Question:

454. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of patients who availed of the community nursing service during the first six months of 2019. [30478/19]

View answer

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.

General Practitioner Data

Questions (455)

John Brassil

Question:

455. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of general practitioner out-of-hours contacts during the first six months of 2019. [30479/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this question relates to a service matter, I have arranged for it to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Data

Questions (456)

John Brassil

Question:

456. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the number of children with complex medical conditions availing of paediatric homecare following discharge from hospital during the first six months of 2019. [30480/19]

View answer

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.

Home Help Service

Questions (457)

Denis Naughten

Question:

457. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 135 of 20 June 2019 and the response of the HSE and in view of the commitment of Minister of State with special responsibility for mental health and older people to Dáil Éireann (details supplied), the cost of complying with the case; and the figure referenced in the comment that a significant portion of the funding is available to address the cost implications of the revised contract for HCSAs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30482/19]

View answer

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.

National Dementia Strategy

Questions (458)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

458. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Health his views on a matter regarding support for persons with dementia (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30493/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As a response to the challenges facing people with dementia and their families and carers, the National Dementia Strategy was launched in December 2014. The Strategy contains 35 priority and additional actions and its implementation is being led by the National Dementia Office in the HSE. The Office has made substantial progress towards developing evidence-based care pathways for people with dementia. Progress made to date and future plans, are recorded in the mid-term review of the Strategy's implementation, which was published in May 2018.

In 2016 and 2017, the National Dementia Office partnered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on a project to map dementia-specific community-based services and supports. It provides a useful snapshot and baseline study into what, where and when dementia services are being offered, including in those counties that currently do not have access to a dementia adviser. The study has also been used to inform a service finder hosted on the National Dementia Office’s website at https://www.understandtogether.ie/get-support/service-finder/. This allows people to search for dementia-specific community services in their area.

Nationally, the HSE is providing approximately €7.9 million for Dementia-Specific Intensive Homecare Packages this year to 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 provided for home support services this year, delivering over 17.9 million home support hours to over 53,000 people.

€400,000 has been allocated by the HSE towards the cost of the Dementia Adviser service this year, and the HSE has agreed to continue to provide this level of funding in future years. There are currently 9 dementia advisors working across 12 counties, with 7 of these posts funded by the HSE.

In addition to the above services, the HSE granted €12.68 million in 2018 to Section 39 organisations who deliver dementia-specific respite, home care, day care, cognitive stimulation therapy, social clubs and supports for family carers.

The Department of Health has also secured €6.26 million in Dormant Accounts funding for a range of additional projects being implemented by the National Dementia Office projects including a post-diagnostic support pathway project, a dementia diagnostic project and a national network of memory technology resource rooms.

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

Health Strategies

Questions (459)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

459. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the implementation of the recommendations of the HSE intercultural health strategy 2018-2023. [30496/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The implementation of the HSE's 'Second National Intercultural Health Strategy 2018-2023' is a service matter and therefore the Deputy's question has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply.

EU Directives

Questions (460)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

460. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the way in which he is improving access to primary care services for refugees in emergency reception and orientation centres and-or resettlement phase in line with the EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU to support persons seeking asylum with particular regard to development and implementation of a vulnerability assessment. [30497/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU provides for the regular monitoring and provision of adequate supports for applicants in detention who are vulnerable persons, including their health.

The Department of Health and the HSE are actively involved in the government-led Refugee Programmes and the Cross-Department group. The HSE in addition plays a key role at a local level via Inter-Agency groups to plan and deliver the health services required in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres and in the locations where the refugees are eventually housed. Elements of health screening, registration with GPs, access to medical cards, provision of a range of primary care services have been integral to optimal resettlement of groups of refugees across the country.

In 2018, the HSE implemented initiatives to improve access to primary care services for refugees in emergency reception and orientation centres. These included chronic disease management, mental health supports and the oral health needs of children and adults. This work will continue in 2019.

The HSE is developing a health vulnerability assessment, as part of the vulnerability assessment under the EU Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU. The HSE has carried out a consultation with various stakeholders as part of this process to meet the conditions of the Directive and to provide for any health needs of refugees and a report is being prepared.

As the Deputy’s question is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply.

Health Strategies

Questions (461)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

461. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the Traveller health action plan. [30498/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, the HSE is committed to developing and implementing a detailed action plan to continue to address the health needs of Travellers, using a social determinants of health approach.

The HSE has circulated a draft of the action plan to stakeholders and has received a number of detailed comments and observations. The HSE has outlined a process which will lead to the completion of the plan in quarter 4 2019, taking into account the feedback received. The process will include liaising with Traveller representative groups and other stakeholders in finalising the plan.

The Department of Health is fully committed to providing the leadership and resources to ensure the implementation of the plan. To this end, the Department will host a workshop on the plan with senior management to tease out any policy and resource issues arising from the action plan.

I am very supportive of the health action plan and look forward to receiving the plan in quarter 4, 2019.

Health Strategies

Questions (462)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

462. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the implementation of agreed HSE assigned actions under the second national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence 2016-2021. [30499/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021 is a whole of Government response to Domestic and Sexual violence and contains a number of health-related actions assigned to the HSE. As the implementation of these actions is a matter for the HSE the Deputy's question has been referred to them for attention and direct reply.

Drug Trials

Questions (463)

James Lawless

Question:

463. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Health if a drug investigation or approval is in place for RTA 408 which may be an effective treatment for Friedreich's ataxia (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30501/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

No medicine containing RTA 408 is authorised anywhere in the EU. RTA 408 (also known as omaveloxolone) is an investigational medicinal product currently undergoing clinical trials. The publicly accessible European clinical trials register lists two ongoing trials registered on the European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT). Both are Phase II clinical trials, one of which is specifically investigating the safety, efficacy, and pharmacodynamics of RTA 408 in the treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia.

Phase II trials test the efficacy of a drug and aim to find out:

- if the new treatment works well enough to be tested in a larger phase III trial

- which diseases the treatment works for

- more about side effects and how to manage them

- more about the best dose to use.

If phase II clinical trials prove successful, trials can advance to phase III.

A medicinal product cannot be placed on the market in Ireland unless it has a marketing authorisation granted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority or a centralised marketing authorisation issued by the European Commission. Following a successful application by the pharmaceutical company RTA 408 it has been designated as an orphan drug by the Commission. Therefore, a marketing authorisation application can only be submitted to the European Medicines Agency on behalf of the Commission.

For a medicinal product to be granted a marketing authorisation an applicant company must submit a dossier of all the trials and studies undertaken on the drug substance and the final pharmaceutical product, in order to provide evidence that the medicine adheres to clear and predefined standards of quality safety and efficacy relevant to its proposed therapeutic use. This dossier normally includes the results of phase III clinical trials.

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

In line with the 2013 Act and the national framework agreed with industry, if a company would like a medicine to be reimbursed by the HSE, the company must submit an application to the HSE to have the new medicine added to the reimbursement list.

Reimbursement is for licensed indications which have been granted a marketing authorisation.

Disability Services Data

Questions (464)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

464. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities who have transitioned from congregated settings to homes in the community during the first six months of 2019. [30502/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion” proposes a new model of support in the community moving people from Congregated settings to the community in line with Government policy. The Report identified around 4000 people (based on 2008 census) with disabilities in Ireland living in congregated settings, defined as a residential setting where people live with ten or more people.

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community. The objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.

By the end of this year, we will have exceeded this target and under 2,100 people with a disability will remain living in congregated settings. I want to emphasise that the appropriate supports and resources are being put in place to ensure that people are supported as they move out of residential centres. The model of care for individuals will be based on a person centred plan (PCP). The PCP may change over time in line with an individual’s needs and circumstances and the model of service delivery applicable at a particular time.

Any opportunity for residents to live in smaller settings in the community will come after considerable planning and discussion with those residents and their families. It will be on the basis that it will enhance their life, and anyone who moves will continue to access the services they require.

The HSE has prioritised the transition of a further 160 people from congregated settings in 2019 under its Service Plan, and I am informed that 49 people have moved into their homes in the community to the end of March this year.

As the HSE is responsible for leading out on the recommendations of "Time to Move on from Congregated Settings - A Strategy for Community Inclusion", I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the questions posed.

Disability Statistics

Questions (465)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

465. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities who resided in congregated settings at the start of 2019 that are now deceased. [30503/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion” proposes a new model of support in the community moving people from Congregated settings to the community in line with Government policy. The Report identified around 4000 people (based on 2008 census) with disabilities in Ireland living in congregated settings, defined as a residential setting where people live with ten or more people.

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community. The objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.

By the end of this year, we will have exceeded this target and under 2,100 people with a disability will remain living in congregated settings. I want to emphasise that the appropriate supports and resources are being put in place to ensure that people are supported as they move out of residential centres. The model of care for individuals will be based on a person centred plan (PCP). The PCP may change over time in line with an individual’s needs and circumstances and the model of service delivery applicable at a particular time.

Any opportunity for residents to live in smaller settings in the community will come after considerable planning and discussion with those residents and their families. It will be on the basis that it will enhance their life, and anyone who moves will continue to access the services they require.

The HSE has prioritised the transition of a further 160 people from congregated settings in 2019 under its Service Plan, and I am informed that 49 people have moved into their homes in the community to the end of March this year.

As the HSE is responsible for leading out on the recommendations of "Time to Move on from Congregated Settings - A Strategy for Community Inclusion", I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the questions posed.

Disability Services Data

Questions (466)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Question:

466. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Health the number of persons with disabilities in congregated settings at the end of June 2019. [30504/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion” proposes a new model of support in the community moving people from Congregated settings to the community in line with Government policy. The Report identified around 4000 people (based on 2008 census) with disabilities in Ireland living in congregated settings, defined as a residential setting where people live with ten or more people.

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community. The objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.

By the end of this year, we will have exceeded this target and under 2,100 people with a disability will remain living in congregated settings. I want to emphasise that the appropriate supports and resources are being put in place to ensure that people are supported as they move out of residential centres. The model of care for individuals will be based on a person centred plan (PCP). The PCP may change over time in line with an individual’s needs and circumstances and the model of service delivery applicable at a particular time.

Any opportunity for residents to live in smaller settings in the community will come after considerable planning and discussion with those residents and their families. It will be on the basis that it will enhance their life, and anyone who moves will continue to access the services they require.

The HSE has prioritised the transition of a further 160 people from congregated settings in 2019 under its Service Plan, and I am informed that 49 people have moved into their homes in the community to the end of March this year.

As the HSE is responsible for leading out on the recommendations of "Time to Move on from Congregated Settings - A Strategy for Community Inclusion", I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the questions posed.