National Carers' Strategy

Questions (1730)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

1730. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health when the sixth progress report on the national Carers' Strategy will be published; his plans to provide additional supports to carers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33845/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As part of the National Carers' Strategy, the Department of Health has committed to the periodic publication of progress reports, highlighting work carried out by relevant Government departments and agencies. The fifth progress report, capturing actions which took place in 2017, was published on the Department of Health's website in August 2018. The Department of Health will work with other departments to determine the timing of future reports. 

Under the National Carers' Strategy, a range of measures have been introduced or extended by the Department of Health and other departments. Funding has been secured for information and training supports for family carers, the development of support networks and support groups to assist with the transition back into social and economic life at the end of the caring role and measures that assist in promoting carer self-identification. In 2016 and 2017, continued payments after the death of the cared for person or their permanent move into residential care or a nursing home was extended from 6 weeks to 12. Since September 2018, free GP visit cards have been extended to persons in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance.

A pilot of the Carers’ Needs Assessment Tool will begin in CHO 2 later this year. This pilot study will greatly benefit the development of a comprehensive, standardised Family Carer Needs Assessment for identifying family carer’s needs by providing an opportunity to refine and improve the needs assessment.

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 Carers' Strategy,  will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.

HSE Expenditure

Questions (1731)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1731. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health the amount spent to date on each aspect of the HSE IFMS single national integrated finance and procurement management system; the overall budget for the project; the status of the project; his future plans for the project in view of the fact that the HSE will be restructured into new regional health areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33847/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

In the absence of a single integrated financial solution, the HSE has continued to operate multiple legacy financial systems.  The Integrated Financial Management System will be introduced nationally on a phased basis, supporting standardised national processes in a shared services environment for finance and procurement functions.  In addition, it will  support the more efficient utilisation of administrative resources.

Commencing in 2016, the HSE initiated an interim Stabilisation Programme to address a number of key areas of operational risk, replacing outdated and vulnerable legacy ICT systems.

The Consolidated Financial Intelligence (CFI) project developed and implemented in 2017 a single system as an interim solution until the roll-out of IFMS, which will provide a consistent and consolidated view of finance systems across the health sector for reporting purposes. The implementation of IFMS will further contribute to the standardisation of financial and procurement processes, workflows and shared services.  

ICT Capital expenditure, cumulative to end June 2019 on each aspect is as follows:

System

Expenditure

Stabilisation Programme 

 €3.42m

Consolidated Financial Intelligence (CFI)

 €0.79m

Software, ERP and IFMS

 €3.93m

Total

 €8.14m

In accordance with the approved Business Case for the new Finance Operating Model (30 May 2014), the capital budget for implementing the Integrated Finance and Procurement Management System is €82 million. These are pre-procurement estimates that are now five years old. In March 2018, the programme commenced the procurement process for a System Integrator / Business Process Change Partner and projected costs will be updated in the context of that procurement process completion.  It is currently on track to conclude in Q4 2019 and follows a public procurement process in June 2017 conducted for the purpose of IFMS software selection.

The design, build and test phase is due to commence in Q4 2019 and will take approximately 12 months, followed by a two-phase deployment schedule across the entire publicly funded health system which will commence in Q4, 2020. Phase 1 is targeted to be complete in Q4 2022, accounting for 39% of overall health system expenditure. Phase 2 coverage is targeted to account for 80% of overall health system expenditure by Q1 2024.

  I announced on Wednesday 17th July that the Government has approved the six new regional health areas under the cross-party Sláintecare reform programme. The HSE have advised me that the IFMS project design will be refined to incorporate changes arising from this decision.  The IFMS progress will be supported by new standard national finance and procurement processes, new operating structures and ways of working and a new national shared services model. 

Once implemented, IFMS will allow improved support to overall efforts to improve health and social care services for the benefit of all health service users.

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (1732)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1732. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the appointment of a dietitian to the bariatric care team at University Hospital Galway has been delayed for months. [33862/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Questions (1733)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1733. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure the bariatric care team at University Hospital Galway have protected theatre slots at the hospital to ensure that their surgeries proceed and that the waiting lists are reduced. [33863/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Health Services Funding

Questions (1734)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1734. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health his plans to ensure an initiative (details supplied) will have funding support beyond December 2019. [33864/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Staff Recruitment

Questions (1735)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1735. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when a podiatrist will be appointed to Letterkenny University Hospital to assist diabetes patents with acute needs. [33865/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospitals Funding

Questions (1736)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

1736. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health when the HSE will provide the financial resources to Letterkenny University Hospital as promised in October 2018 to enable it to reopen all 20 beds in the short-stay ward. [33866/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health Service Capacity Review published last year was clear on the need for a major investment in additional capacity in both hospital and community – combined with a wide scale reform of the manner and the location of where health services are provided.

An additional 267 acute hospital beds opened under the Winter Initiative 2017/2018, and the National Service Plan for 2019 provides for a comprehensive capacity programme. The main elements of the 2019 capacity programme are:

- the provision of 75 acute beds and 70 community beds under the Winter Plan 2018/19, including 5 beds that opened in Letterkenny University Hospital in June 2019;

- 47 additional beds, including a 40-bed modular build in South Tipperary General Hospital, 4 HDU beds in Cork University Hospital, and 3 HDU beds in the Mater which are due to open by Q4 2019;

- preparation of 202 beds during 2019, including a further 15 beds in Letterkenny University Hospital, with a view to bringing this extra capacity into operation in Q1 of 2020;

- commencement of works on a 60-bed modular ward in University Hospital Limerick.

With regard to the specific question the Deputy has asked, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond directly.

Hospital Facilities

Questions (1738, 1739)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

1738. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when the unoccupied beds in Kenmare Community Hospital will be opened up to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33888/19]

View answer

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

1739. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health when the unoccupied beds in Dingle Community Hospital will be opened up to patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33889/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1738 and 1739 together.

As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Primary Care Services Provision

Questions (1740)

Bobby Aylward

Question:

1740. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if he will investigate the possibility of a roll-out of a scheme (details supplied); if he will further investigate the possibility of a roll-out of a national scheme which would allow children up to 16 years of age who do not require surgical or medical management to be examined in the community by optometrists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33895/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Sligo model for cataract surgery involves Sligo Hospital Ophthalmology Department working with optometrists in the community to treat post-operative cataract patients. It uses an integrated streamlined electronic patient record system to ensure an accurate flow of patient information between the hospital and the community services.  

The HSE Primary Care Eye Services Review Group Report (PCESRG), published in June 2017, sets out the way forward for a significant amount of eye care services to be delivered in a Primary Care setting. This will ensure that hospital services are focused on patients who require more specialist diagnostics or treatments.  

The recommendations from the PCESRG Report complement the Model of Care developed by the National Clinical Programme for Ophthalmology, also published in 2017. The Model of Eye Care addresses the delivery of ophthalmology services and the integration between the three arms of eye care, namely care provided in the acute setting, care provided in the primary care setting and care delivered at the first point of contact for patients.

The PCESRG Report sets out models of care and referral pathways for the management of most common eye care conditions. It also includes recommendations on standard operating procedures and training of existing staff. Increasing activity through the use of community optometrists is a key recommendation. It proposes a review of contractual arrangements with optometrists to allow them to see children over 8 years of age for routine assessments and treatments and to provide services for certain glaucoma, cataract and dry eye related macular degeneration patients.

The recommendations of the Report are being implemented by the HSE on a phased basis as resources allow. Implementation to date has focused on establishing paediatric eye care teams in Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) 6 and 7 as well as expanding the paediatric eye care team in CHO 9. Once established, these teams can take on the management of many eye conditions from acute ophthalmology services. Progress with the teams will inform the future roll-out of teams in other parts of the country. Implementation is also focusing on exploring the roll-out of the Community Ophthalmic Services Scheme to children over 8 years.

Hospital Procedures

Questions (1741)

Michael Harty

Question:

1741. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health the reason robotic surgery for prostate and other urology surgery has not commenced at University Hospital Limerick in spite of it possessing a system (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33899/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (1742)

Michael Harty

Question:

1742. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health the reason the colposcopy clinic at Limerick Regional Hospital is not able to provide timely appointments for new referrals with women having to wait up to 15 weeks to be seen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33901/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is a service issue, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Consultant Recruitment

Questions (1743)

Niall Collins

Question:

1743. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of vacant consultant posts in the University of Limerick Hospital Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33904/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.

General Practitioner Data

Questions (1744)

Niall Collins

Question:

1744. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the number of general practitioners in County Limerick; the number expected to retire in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33907/19]

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.

Primary Care Centres Provision

Questions (1745)

Niall Collins

Question:

1745. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of primary care centres in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33916/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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.

Care Services Provision

Questions (1746)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1746. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 250 of 28 May 2019, (details supplied), if he will address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33925/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Equipment

Questions (1747)

Michael Harty

Question:

1747. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health when University Hospital Limerick will be provided with a second MRI scanner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33927/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Disabilities Assessments

Questions (1748)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

1748. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) will be issued with an appointment for an assessment with the ASD services in counties Galway and Roscommon; the reason for the delay in issuing them with an appointment in view of the fact that they have been on the waiting list for a significant period of time; his plans to reduce the waiting times experiences by children and families waiting for ASD assessments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33928/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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

Dental Services

Questions (1749)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1749. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the status of a dental appointment for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33929/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Hospital Appointments Delays

Questions (1750)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1750. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) is waiting for a knee operation since 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33966/19]

View answer

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.

Emergency Departments Services

Questions (1751)

Michael Harty

Question:

1751. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Health the reason a person (details supplied) who presented to accident and emergency department at University Hospital Limerick on 10 July 2019 with neurological symptoms was placed on a trolley in the department until 15 July 2019 before being admitted to a ward and did not have a MRI brain scan which was requested on 11 July 2019 and which was essential for their diagnosis and management; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33968/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

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

Maternity Services

Questions (1752, 1753)

Micheál Martin

Question:

1752. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the procedure of reviewing alleged malpractice in a maternity hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33979/19]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

1753. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if it is correct procedure for a maternity hospital to set up its own review panel to investigate when a case goes wrong; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33980/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1752 and 1753 together.

The Deputy may wish to note that in his Report on Perinatal Deaths in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise (2014), the Chief Medical Officer recommended that national standards on the conduct of reviews of patient safety incidents should be developed. Subsequently in October 2017, the Health Information and Quality Authority published the National Standards for the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents. The Standards are directed at health services and aim to improve how services conduct reviews of patient safety incidents that occur in their services.

When the delivery of care falls below an acceptable standard and leads to a patient safety incident, the Standards note that such incidents should be managed in an open culture that learns from errors and that takes corrective actions to improve patient safety. Standard 15.7 envisages three levels of patient safety incident review depending on the severity of the incident and the potential for learning and improvement; namely, concise internal reviews; comprehensive internal reviews; and external independent reviews.

The HSE's Incident Management Framework 2018, which are based on the Standards, sets out the procedures to be followed to conduct a patient safety incident review. The Framework also provides that health services may commission different types of reviews with different levels of independence depending on the nature of the patient safety incident.

With regard to your specific query in relation to the review of incidents in maternity services, the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme has advised that in the case of maternal death, the Programme suggests the appropriate composition of the review team to the hospital concerned. In cases of direct maternal death, the review team will be external to the particular hospital and the Hospital Group. Other significant adverse outcomes in the maternity service, should be reviewed at a Hospital Group level, maternity only, Serious Incident Management Forum. This is designed to deliver a level of externality to every maternity hospital/unit and every significant incident.

National Maternity Hospital

Questions (1754, 1755, 1756)

Micheál Martin

Question:

1754. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to services provided in a clinic (details supplied); if his attention has been further drawn to the ownership of the clinic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33981/19]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

1755. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a service agreement between the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, and a clinic (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33982/19]

View answer

Micheál Martin

Question:

1756. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to or if he has requested information from the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, on shared services that may be provided to a clinic (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33983/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1754 to 1756, inclusive, together.

As the queries raised by the Deputy relate to operational matters, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.