Thursday, 11 July 2019

Ceisteanna (537)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

537. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the provision of a dementia adviser for County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30818/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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. 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.

The National Dementia Strategy requires the HSE to consider the provision of dementia advisers, based on the experience of demonstrator sites. In this context, an evaluation of the Dementia Adviser Service, which was published in September 2018, recommends the continuation and expansion of the service to ensure equity of access countrywide.

There are nine Dementia Advisers working in the Dementia Adviser Service established by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) in mid-2014. The service covers 12 counties: Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick, parts of Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Dublin.

Seven of the 9 posts have been funded by the HSE since 2016, while the Mayo post is funded by Community Action on Dementia Mayo. €400,000 has been allocated by the HSE in each of the last 3 years towards the cost of the service and a commitment has been made to continue this funding in 2019 and in future years.

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 further expansion of the Dementia Adviser Service, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.