Written Answers. - Care Attendants.

Pádraic McCormack

Ceist:

311 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the establishment of a pilot programme for care attendants (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27604/01]

As recommended by the Commission on Nursing, a working party, the review group on health service care staff, was set up to establish standard criteria in relation to the education and training of health care attendants, ward attendants and other relevant non-nursing personnel across the health service. The review group laid out guidelines on the criteria for the selection of pilot sites for the introduction of a national programme of training for health care assistants due to commence this autumn. The review group agreed that the employers were best positioned to select these pilot sites. Consequently, the health board chief executive officer group, following consultation with the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies regarding the learning disability sector, and with the voluntary hospital sector, submitted a list of pilot sites on the basis of ensuring that all specialties requested were encompassed. These were agreed by the review group.

I understand that University College Hospital, Galway, was not selected as a pilot site by the chief executive officer group on the basis that its suggested specialty was included at another pilot site. The Deputy may wish to note that the pilot sites chosen for the Western Health Board region are Mayo and Roscommon. The course will be delivered in Mayo General and Portiuncula Hospitals. However, clinical placements will be drawn from a range of service areas. It is hoped the programme will be extended nationally following successful completion and assessment of the pilot programme.