Questions Nos. 278 to 280, inclusive, answered with Question No. 274.

Public Health Policy

Ceisteanna (281)

Denise Mitchell

Ceist:

281. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Health the status of the implementation of the HSE programmes, cook it and healthy food made easy, in 2018 in terms of targets and attendances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11574/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the question relates to service matters it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (282, 283, 284)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

282. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the number of external consultants employed on a full-time basis by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI; and the levels within the organisation at which these consultants work. [11576/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

283. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the annual staff turnover in the NMBI since 2011; and the turnover rate at each level of the organisation. [11577/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

284. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the number of agency staff employed in the NMBI in each year since 2011; and the percentage of total staff represented by agency staff in the case of each year. [11578/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 to 284, inclusive, together.

As these questions refer to operational matters, they has been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (285)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

285. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the number of protected disclosures lodged by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI, staff being investigated. [11579/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

All protected disclosures submitted to my Department are given due attention in keeping with the Department's protected disclosures policy and procedures and in accordance with the requirements under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. Given that all protected disclosures must be treated as confidential, it would not be appropriate for me to provide this information.

Annual Reports detailing the number of protected disclosures received between 2015 and 2017 are available on the Department's website. The Report for 2018 will be published no later than 30th June 2019.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (286)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

286. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the status of progress toward the publication of revised legislation in an area (details supplied). [11580/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland is required, as are all state bodies, to comply with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. The Code is designed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to ensure the highest standards of corporate governance in State Bodies.

The report referred to by the Deputy was a full organisational review of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. It contained a number of recommendations, one of which was that the Department of Health should assess whether legislative changes are required in order to make the Fitness to Practice process more effective.

The recently published Regulated Health Professionals (Health and Social Care)(Amendment) Bill 2019 proposes a number of amendments to the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 Act aimed at achieving this.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

Ceisteanna (287)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

287. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the changes made to the size and make-up of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, NMBI, board since the publication of a report in 2015 (details supplied). [11581/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The composition of the Board is set out in the Nurses and Midwifes Act 2011. The membership is set to ensure the Board reflects the range of skills, competencies and experience required to enable it to fulfil its statutory obligations.

The report referred to by the Deputy was a full organisational review of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. It contained a number of recommendations, one of which was that the Department of Health review the legislation governing the NMBI and consider a reduction in the size of the NMBI Board.

The membership of the Board is in line with other regulators under the aegis of this Department and, furthermore, has 23 members which is 21% less than that of its predecessor, An Board Altranais. In light of this, while the recommendation has not yet been progressed, it remains under review within the constrains of the pressing legislative demands of this Department.

Ambulance Service Accommodation

Ceisteanna (288)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

288. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if emergency accommodation is provided by the HSE for nursing staff of St. Mary's Hospital in a building (details supplied); if so, the number of managers of the national ambulance service, NAS, who have used this accommodation facility in the past five years; the number of interns of the NAS who have used the facility in the past five years; if the attention of interns has been drawn to the fact that this facility is available; if not, the reason therefor; and the costs of using this facility [11582/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Ambulance Service Accommodation

Ceisteanna (289)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

289. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a national ambulance service, NAS, paramedic intern used accommodation in a campsite due to the fact that the intern could not afford to rent accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11583/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I am not in a position to comment on individuals cases such as that outlined by the Deputy.

However, I can respond in general terms about forthcoming increases in public service pay which will benefit all employees, including intern grades. In 2017, the Government agreed an overall Public Service Stability Agreement with public sector unions which sees very significant increases in public service pay, including for intern grades.

From January 2018, public service staff received a 1% pay rise with a further 1% increase in October 2018. In addition, staff earning up to €30,000 received a further 1% rise in January 2019. Pay increases still to come include a 1.75% cent increase in September 2019 for all staff. A further rise of 0.5% will be put in place for those on salaries of up to €32,000 in January 2020. Finally, all staff will get an additional 2% increase in October 2020.

Ambulance Service Staff

Ceisteanna (290)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

290. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason overtime for intermediate care operative, ICO, grades in the national ambulance service, NAS, in Limerick has been discontinued. [11584/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Ambulance Service

Ceisteanna (291)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

291. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the amount paid to private ambulances from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018 in the Limerick area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11585/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Ambulance Service Staff

Ceisteanna (292, 415, 449)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

292. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health his views on the significant deterioration in bullying figures between the 2016 national ambulance service, NAS, survey and the survey carried out in 2018; and his further views on the levels of discrimination that have been highlighted in both surveys. [11586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Collins

Ceist:

415. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health his views on the significant deterioration in bullying figures as contained in the NAS surveys carried out in 2016 and 2018; his further views on the levels of discrimination highlighted in both surveys; and his views on the fact only 9% of staff feel involved in decisions that affect them in their work. [12100/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Collins

Ceist:

449. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Health his views on the fact that more than 50% of staff responded to the NAS survey in 2016 and 28% responded to the 2018 survey; his views on whether this significant drop in engagement could be due to deteriorating morale within the service; his further views on whether the survey results relating to the service are significantly worse than those in other sections of the HSE; and his views on whether such survey results give the impression of a service in turmoil. [12240/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 292, 415 and 449 together.

The Deputies have raised a number of issues in relation to a Health Sector National Staff Survey which was carried out in 2016 and 2018. The purpose of the surveys was to measure employee sentiment and engagement within the publicly funded Health Sector.

As with all surveys, it raised a number of both positive and negative results. These results have prompted the National Ambulance Service to take a range of measures to address the areas where improvements could be made.

I am clear that bullying or harassment in any workplace must not be tolerated and any such instance must be addressed in accordance with the appropriate grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures. Any employee who experiences or witnesses work place bullying or harassment should be aware that they can report these instances under the Dignity at Work Policy for the Health Service.

The NAS is also developing anti bullying work place initiatives in line with the Positive Workplace Programme and bespoke sessions for the NAS are currently in development. Staff Health & Wellbeing initiatives and programmes are ongoing in the NAS as part of Healthy Ireland including significant focus on staff health initiatives such as mental wellbeing, physical activity, health checks and improving the workplace environment.

There are a number of other ongoing programmes and initiatives being undertaken and supported by the National Ambulance Service. For example, a number of NAS managers across the country have undertaken Leadership Development Programmes including Continuous Quality Improvement courses using the Lean Sigma process.

The NAS has also established a National Staff Engagement Forum as well as local Engagement Networks. The role of the Forum is to create a space for conversations about what matters to staff in terms of engagement and to gather suggestions on how to improve it by building on existing approaches and continually looking for new ways to engage staff.

In addition, the NAS has strengthened representative bodies and increased the number of NAS staff representation in order to provide further regular and scheduled discussion around areas such as improvement in internal and upward communication, raising awareness around dignity at work issues, and health and wellbeing initiatives.

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (293)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

293. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Health when medical surgery will take place for a person (details supplied). [11590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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.

Disability Services Provision

Ceisteanna (294)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

294. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the progress being made on providing a person (details supplied) with an inpatient place at the National Rehabilitation Centre, Dún Laoghaire; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11592/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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 a service issue, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans

Ceisteanna (295)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

295. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the waiting times for scoliosis operations; the steps taken to reduce waiting times for these operations; if there has been an increase in the number of consultants dealing with patients with scoliosis and future plans to reduce waiting lists for children with scoliosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11598/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I sincerely regret that children can experience a long waiting time for treatment for scoliosis. I am conscious of the burden that this places on them and their families.

The long-term strategy to develop sustainable scoliosis services from 2018 and into 2019 is a priority for me and for the HSE. Children's Health Ireland (CHI) advises that the impact of investment, and the implementation of the Scoliosis 10 Point Action Plan, is now starting to deliver results with a consistent reduction in waiting times being recorded.

Children's Health Ireland (CHI) also advises that the total number of surgeries performed in 2018 was 418 compared with 371 in 2017. This represents an increase in activity of 12% against 2017 and an increase in activity of almost 87% compared to 2016 when 224 procedures were carried out.

Furthermore, the number of patients on the waiting list for scoliosis related surgeries as of 01 March 2019 is 158, of which 87 are waiting for spinal fusion (see table). This is a reduction of 22 or 12% since Jan 2018

Since the beginning of 2018, there has been a 51% reduction in the number of children waiting over 4 months for surgery (from 74 at the start of 2018 to 36 as of 01 March 2019).

In addition, CHI advises that an additional 60 posts have been approved for 2018 and 2019, and in this context, it is currently recruiting two additional general orthopaedic consultants which will further reduce waiting times for children for an orthopaedic outpatient appointment.

More broadly, all patient referrals to the orthopaedic spinal service at CHI are reviewed and clinically prioritised by a consultant. These patients are seen in order of clinical priority. Most patients are seen within 12 months.

An additional 800 OPD appointments were given to patients in CHI at Crumlin in 2018 compared to 2017 which led to a 31% reduction in the overall orthopaedic outpatient waiting list.

Finally, the CHI will continue to work to reduce waiting times for children and young people attending orthopaedic and scoliosis services.

The following document provides details of the number of scoliosis surgeries performed to date this year along with the number of patients on waiting lists clinically deemed as requiring surgery as at 01 March 2019.

Total surgeries (inc. single & multiple stages) performed as of 1 March 2019

Week ending 01/03/2019

CHI at Crumlin

CHI at Temple Street

Cappagh Hospital

Total

Number of Spinal Fusion YTD

18

2

6

26

No. of Other Spinal Procedures YTD

18

11

4

33

Total

36

13

10

59

Total No. of patients on waiting lists clinically deemed as requiring surgery as of 1 March 2019

Number of patients on waiting list waiting for scoliosis related surgeries. Includes active, pre-admit and planned procedures (excluding suspensions*)

Number

Number waiting for other spinal procedures

CHI at Crumlin

63

43

CHI at Temple Street

13

28

Cappagh Hospital

11

0

Total

87

71

*suspensions are patients temporarily unavailable due to clinical or family reason

Hospitals Funding

Ceisteanna (296)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

296. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Health if funding will be provided to the national clinic in Beaumont Hospital that assists those affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as motor neurone disease (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11599/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (297)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

297. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the direct discharge rate to nursing homes for stroke patients from 2010 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11603/19]

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.

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (298)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

298. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the average cost of keeping a stroke patient in long-term care assuming a mean three-year survival; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11604/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (299)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

299. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the number of stroke patients who are admitted to a stroke unit; the number of stroke patients who receive treatment in a stroke unit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11605/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Data

Ceisteanna (300)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

300. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the thrombectomy service available here; the number of patients who have accessed this service; the five-year budget impact of moving from the service to a national thrombectomy service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11606/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.