Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (202)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

202. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Health if Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry tendered for the CervicalCheck contract; the year or years the tender was submitted; and the reason the tender was unsuccessful. [20591/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This question relates to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry. I announced the terms of reference of this Inquiry, following agreement by Government, on 8th May 2018.

The Inquiry, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, will examine the facts, including details of the non-disclosure to patients relating to CervicalCheck clinical audits and the management and level of knowledge of various parties including the HSE and the Department of Health. Dr Scally will report to me by the end of next month setting out his findings.

Mental Health Services

Ceisteanna (203)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

203. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the status of the implementation of the Youth Mental Health Pathfinder initiative; and the roadmap and timeline to full implementation. [20598/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The development and implementation of a cross-departmental Pathfinder team on youth mental health was prioritised as an action under the Civil Service Renewal plan.  Under the sponsorship of the Civil Service Management Board an inter-departmental team was established with representatives drawn from the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). The proposal is to utilise Section 12 of the Public Service Management Act 1997 to formalise a new model for collaborative working between Government departments and to place it on a statutory footing. The proposed model of implementation will require the following three key elements:

- A cross-government unit staffed through secondments from participating offices/agencies to operate for a 3 year period. There is agreement that participating Departments will cover the costs of their own seconded staff and that Departments will be allowed to backfill seconded posts, subject to DPER approval. The Director for the unit would be recruited separately. A draft job description for the Director post has already been prepared and the Department of Health has agreed to fund this post subject to agreement with DPER.

- Accountability is being addressed in a Draft order entitled Public Service Management Act 1997 (Section 12) (Youth Mental Health) Order 2018. This will allow for shared accountability at Secretary General Level across the sponsoring Departments. Drafting is well advanced, and currently the draft text is with participating departments for review.

- It is proposed to utilise Section 12 of the Public Service Management Act 1997 to create a pooled budget between participating departments. This budget would be available to the Pathfinder Unit to drive change across agencies and to seed fund vital infrastructure.

Departments are working with DPER to resolve some technical issues with the above proposals. A timeline to full implementation can not yet be agreed as the participating departments have not received final approval from DPER.

Mental Health Services

Ceisteanna (204)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

204. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the age of consent in which a young person can interact with the mental health services. [20600/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Expert Group Review of the Mental Health Act 2001, which was published in 2015, referred to Section 23 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 which states that "The consent of a minor who has attained the age of 16 years to any surgical, medical or dental treatment which, in the absence of consent, would constitute a trespass to his or her person, shall be as effective as it would if he or she were of full age; and where a minor by virtue of this section given an effective consent to any treatment it shall not be necessary to obtain any consent for it from his or her parent or guardian".

The Expert Group also acknowledged, however, that it has long been unclear how that Act interacts with the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001.  Specifically in relation to children and consent, in proposing how our mental health legislation could be improved, the Expert Group has recommended that children aged 16/17 should be presumed to have capacity to consent/refuse admission and treatment; that a 16/17 year old must also consent or at least must not object to his/her voluntary admission; where the 16/17 year old objects, the case should then be referred to a child friendly District Family Law Court to assess the maturity and capacity of the child to make an informed decision (where the Court determines the child has the necessary maturity and capacity, admission may only proceed on an involuntary basis by order of the Court, where the child does not have the necessary maturity and capacity, then voluntary admission may proceed with the consent of the parents/guardian); and that there should be no automatic presumption of capacity for children under the age of 16.

Amendments to the Mental Health Act 2001 based on the recommendations of the Expert Group Review of the Act are currently being progressed.  Government approved plans to proceed with the general scheme of a bill and officials are working on the heads of the amending bill which will legislate for the recommendations of the Review, including those relating to children. 

The National Youth Mental Health Task Force has also recommended that priority is focused on the need to ensure that the voice of all children and young people is heard. In addition, I should also mention that it is intended that a new inter-departmental Pathfinder Team will take a lead in formalising mechanisms to ensure that the voices of young people are fully considered in the development and implementation of legislation, policy and services for youth.

Mental Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (205)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

205. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the number of persons treated in the mental health services in each of the years 2007 to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20604/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Mental Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (206)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

206. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Health the recommended number of beds per head of population for mental health treatment; the number available here; the details of future beds which may come online; the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20608/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Car Parks

Ceisteanna (207)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

207. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the national review of hospital cark park charges; if free parking for those suffering from other long-term life threatening illnesses in addition to cancer patients will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20610/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In March, I requested that the HSE carry out a review of hospital car parking charges, with the aim of establishing clear national guidelines in this area. The review will involve the relevant stakeholders and will take account of the income generated by charges, the impact of any reduction in car parking income on hospital services and the views of patient advocacy groups. The HSE expects that the review will be completed by mid 2018.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (208, 209)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

208. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates and formats by which each of the HSE’s hospital group managers were told of the 2014 audit of cervical cancer cases; if he will publish the correspondence by which they were told; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20611/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

209. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates and formats by which each of the HSE’s hospital managers in hospitals (details supplied) were told of the 2014 audit of cervical cancer cases; if he will publish the correspondence by which they were told; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20612/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 209 together.

This question relates to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry. I announced the terms of reference of this Inquiry, following agreement by Government, on 8th May 2018.

The Inquiry, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, will examine the facts, including details of the non-disclosure to patients relating to CervicalCheck clinical audits and the management and level of knowledge of various parties including the HSE and the Department of Health. Dr Scally will report to me by the end of next month setting out his findings.

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (210)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

210. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if he will request the Health Service Executive to provide a comprehensive status report of plans for refurbishment, renovation and new building works at a hospital (details supplied) as committed to in its capital plan in view of the fact that it is the second quarter of 2018; the position regarding the appointment of a design team; the progress made subsequent to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20614/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of health care infrastructure projects, the Executive has been requested to reply directly to you in relation to the development at St. Columbas Hospital in cloghabrody, Co Kilkenny.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (211)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

211. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the number of employees within his Department in receipt of a salary below the living wage of €11.70 per hour. [20617/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The staff of my Department are on centrally negotiated civil service pay scales. There are a number of Clerical Officers on the lower end of the pay scale for that grade who are on salaries below the living wage of €11.70 per hour but as they progress over time on the Clerical Officer pay scale, their salaries will exceed the living wage.

Departmental Agencies Staff Data

Ceisteanna (212)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

212. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the disaggregation of salary scales or levels among agency workers within or through his Department. [20623/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Departmental Agencies Staff Data

Ceisteanna (213)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

213. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the number of workers employed through his Department under the status of agency worker. [20629/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

General Practitioner Services

Ceisteanna (214)

John Brady

Ceist:

214. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Health the provisions in place to ensure that a general practitioner service remains in Carnew, County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20633/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospitals Building Programme

Ceisteanna (215)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

215. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the progress of the new national children's hospital; when it will become fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20635/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The new children’s hospital capital project is progressing well. Excavation and other construction works on the main site such as piling, service diversions and building a utility tunnel for the campus are continuing. The temporary compound at Davitt Road is operational, the purpose of this compound is to store building materials and to allow for the controlled arrival of materials to the construction site, mitigating against potential traffic impacts.

Development is also well advanced on the two new paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres, one at Connolly Hospital and one at Tallaght Hospital.  Works at Connolly are progressing as scheduled, the entire concrete structure is substantially complete.  Works at Tallaght are also progressing with the decant and crèche works scheduled to be completed in mid-2018.  Main works on the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centre at Tallaght is expected to commence in September 2018.

The paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals are scheduled to open in mid 2019 and 2020 respectively followed by the new children’s hospital in late 2022.

Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (216)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

216. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the anticipated number of medical personnel that will staff the new national children's hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20636/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As part of the planning and analysis to support the development of the new children’s hospital a Workforce Planning Strategy for two Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals and the new children’s hospital was commenced in 2015 by the Children’s Hospital Group.

The workforce priority this year is to progress the consultant post recruitment process for the Paediatric OPD and Urgent Care Centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals.

In relation to the anticipated number of medical personnel that will staff the new hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.

Hospital Waiting Lists Data

Ceisteanna (217)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

217. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of children that are waiting more than six months for scoliosis treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20637/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I continue to support the HSE in its efforts to bring down the waiting times for and improve access to scoliosis services. The long-term strategy to develop sustainable scoliosis services from 2018 has been prioritised by the Department of Health and the HSE in the 2018 HSE National Service Plan.  

€9 million funding has been provided in 2018 to improve access to paediatric orthopaedic services including scoliosis. The 2018 HSE National Service Plan includes a commitment from the HSE to continue to improve access to paediatric orthopaedics, including surgery for scoliosis, in conjunction with the Children’s Hospital Group to achieve clinically appropriate waiting times. This will be underpinned by the development of a standardised pathway of care for children and adolescents with scoliosis which will be evidence-based and patient-centred.

The HSE, in their Service Plan, has also committed to the development of a service for young adults with scoliosis in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, and Cappagh Orthopaedic Hospital for patients transferring from paediatric services.

In addition, a Paediatric Scoliosis Services Co-Design group is in place, which includes clinicians, hospital staff and representatives from the scoliosis advocacy groups, to design a comprehensive contemporary and patient-centred approach to the delivery of scoliosis services.

The Children's Hospital Group advise that as of week ending 27 April 2018, there were 87 patients on the active waiting list who had been waiting for more than 4 months.

I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly to provide details on the number of children waiting more than 6 months.

Assisted Human Reproduction

Ceisteanna (218)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

218. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if twin to singleton reductions will be permitted under the provisions of the assisted human reproduction Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20638/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction and associated areas of research in October last year and the General Scheme is published on my Department’s website.

The General Scheme does not include any provisions relating to foetal reduction.

Assisted Human Reproduction

Ceisteanna (219)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

219. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health if the practice of genome editing will be permitted under the provisions of the assisted human reproduction Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20639/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year and the General Scheme is published on my Department’s website. Officials in my Department are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the process of drafting this Bill. In addition, the Joint Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January of this year.

Part 7 of the General Scheme outlines specific conditions and restrictions relating to research and activities involving the editing of the human genome. Under the General Scheme, where the genome of a human gamete or embryo has been edited such that the genetic change could be passed on to children and future generations, then it is prohibited to insert or transfer such a gamete or embryo into the body of a woman in an effort to achieve a pregnancy.

Part 9 of the General Scheme clarifies that contravening this provision would constitute an offence.

HSE Data

Ceisteanna (220)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

220. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Health the latest figures on breastfeeding rates here; the level of funding provided to support programmes; the details of such support programmes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20680/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospital Staff

Ceisteanna (221)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

221. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Health the reason no funding has been allocated for the appointment of an MS specialist nurse at University Hospital Limerick; if the Health Service Executive will review the decision; and the person within the HSE responsible for allocating the funding for such posts at UHL. [20686/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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