Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1145)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1145. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of surgery for a person (details supplied); the length of time they will be waiting for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35970/19]

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.

Speech and Language Therapy Data

Ceisteanna (1146)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

1146. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the caseload per speech and language therapist for counties Louth and Meath in 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35977/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Hospitals Capital Programme

Ceisteanna (1147)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

1147. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the position in relation to the progression of the 50-bed new St. Joseph's Hospital, Ardee, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35979/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive recently published its Capital Plan for 2019-2021 outlining 250 projects to be progressed over the three-year period.

The Capital Plan provides for €220m capital funding to the Community Nursing Unit programme over the period 2019 to 2021 and also sets out the current status of all projects within the programme, including St. Joseph's Hospital, Ardee.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that the project, which is expected to have 50 beds, is currently being considered for delivery as part of a bundle of facilities by Public Private Partnership (PPP). A design team has been appointed and a planning application has recently been lodged.

HIQA Reports

Ceisteanna (1148)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

1148. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health the measures undertaken since the launch of the HIQA report Office of the Chief Inspector - The use of information gathered and received in the regulation of services September 2018 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35981/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to a report prepared by HIQA in September 2018 concerning its use of information gathered and received in the regulation of services.

The report outlines how unsolicited information and mandated monitoring notifications are received and reviewed by an inspector of social services who assesses the related risk and decides on a regulatory response. Every piece of information received, whether unsolicited or mandated, is reviewed in such a manner. In the report’s concluding remarks HIQA identifies a small number of areas that would benefit from further review and assessment in terms of its information management. Implementation of any such proposals is an internal matter for the regulator.

As the Deputy will be aware, HIQA, as regulator, has no formal legal role in examining individual complaints; however, the Authority does take into account all information it receives, including complaints from the public, when carrying out inspections. If concerns are raised, HIQA reviews all information received and evaluates it against the regulations and standards. Where issues are identified, HIQA works closely with service providers to agree an appropriate action plan to address these issues and to ensure the required standards are met.

I note that HIQA is very open and transparent in relation to the information it gathers. It publishes an annual report and every individual report relating to the quality and safety of services within its legislative remit. The Chief Inspector also publishes an overview report detailing the quality and safety of services and areas of high risk.

The safety and protection of vulnerable people in the care of the State is paramount. Officials in my Department remain in ongoing contact with relevant health agencies, including HIQA, the Mental Health Commission and the HSE, in relation to safeguarding policy matters, and are working with stakeholders to strengthen safeguarding structures and policies in the health sector nationally.

Medical Records

Ceisteanna (1149)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

1149. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if action has been taken against a hospital or hospital group for the numerous incidents in which personal data in the form of medical documents have been found in public, including the files found in Baltray, County Louth in November 2018; if the Data Protection Commissioner has made recommendations on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35982/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

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

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (1150)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

1150. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Health if Sruthan House, Dundalk, County Louth will remain open into the future following the deferral of its closure in July 2019; the plans of the HSE in place to cater for the service users that will be affected by such a closure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35984/19]

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

Hospital Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (1151)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1151. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of a knee replacement for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35986/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (1152)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1152. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; the steps required in the case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35987/19]

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

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (1153)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

1153. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health the funding for services in Cobh Hospital for the remainder of 2019; if his attention has been drawn to difficulties regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35989/19]

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.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (1154)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

1154. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health if the roll-out of the €4 charge for persons with a disability commuting to local day services will be ceased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35991/19]

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

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1155)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

1155. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment for admission to St. Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise, County Laois. [35997/19]

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.

Hospital Appointments Status

Ceisteanna (1156)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

1156. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) can expect an appointment. [36001/19]

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.

Maternity Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1157)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1157. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the progress made to date in respect of the proposed transfer of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital to Blanchardstown, Dublin 15; the expected date on which the transfer is due to commence; the expected date for the completion of the transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36036/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Project Ireland 2040 provides €10.9 billion for health capital developments across the country, including funding to support implementation of the National Maternity Strategy. The relocation of the Rotunda Hospital to the Connolly campus is one of the key infrastructure projects which will be funded under Project Ireland 2040. It is important that we carefully plan all projects to meet population health needs and achieve value for money. This work is ongoing. While I am not in position to outline the year on year provisions for any individual hospital project at this stage, this will be considered through the process of the determination of service priorities and in the context of the finalisation of the Health Capital Plan.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Rotunda project is at an early stage and will require to progress through appraisal, planning design and tender before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.

Maternity Services Provision

Ceisteanna (1158)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1158. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the expected costs of the transfer of the Rotunda Maternity Hospital to Blanchardstown, Dublin 15; if the costs have been included in the budget forecasting of his Department; if he expects the Rotunda Maternity Hospital to contribute from its respective budget to the cost of the transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36037/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

In line with best international practice, it is Government policy that standalone maternity hospitals should be co-located with acute adult hospitals. The National Maternity Strategy, published in January 2016, reaffirms this commitment. The New Maternity Hospital at the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus will be the first of these to be developed, with the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, the Rotunda Hospital and University Maternity Hospital, Limerick to follow in time.

Project Ireland 2040, incorporating the National Development Plan 2018-2027, will provide funding of €10.9 billion over the next decade to develop infrastructure, equipment and additional service capacity for the public health sector, in an ambitious plan to improve our health services and modernise how we deliver services through the implementation of Sláintecare.

We must ensure that we carefully plan the use of this capital funding to meet population health needs and achieve value for money.

Project Ireland 2040 includes funding to provide the infrastructure to support implementation of the National Maternity Strategy and to provide an appropriate environment within all our maternity hospitals/units to facilitate the delivery of a modern, safe, quality service where the woman’s need for privacy and dignity is respected. These new developments will radically improve maternity, gynaecology and neonatal healthcare, both at local and national level.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals, including the relocation of the Rotunda to Connolly Hospital campus in Blanchardstown, must progress through detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, in line with the requirements of the Public Spending Code, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.

The HSE Capital Plan 2019, published recently, provides for the project brief to be progressed.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Ceisteanna (1159, 1162, 1166)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1159. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the cost overruns in respect of the senior care centres programme; if an assessment has been carried out of the likely impact of cost overruns on the senior care centres programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36038/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1162. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the proposed 100-bed senior care centre on the grounds of Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown; if cost overruns will have an impact on the proposed 100-bed senior care centre; if so, the impact in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36041/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1166. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the amount of capital investment proposed in respect of each senior care centre by county in tabular form. [36045/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1159, 1162 and 1166 together.

Community Nursing Units (CNUs) are an essential part of our national healthcare infrastructure. However, many units are housed in buildings that are less than ideal in the modern context. The Government’s Capital Investment Programme 2016-2021 provided for investments totalling €535m to replace, upgrade and refurbish up to 90 public facilities across the country, which would bring them into compliance with new regulations from 2022.

The programme provides for a phased approach, with new builds and larger projects sequenced towards the end of the six-year period. Most of the funding comes from the Exchequer Capital Plan, with €150m to be sourced through Public Private Partnerships.

In considering the phasing of the projects over the 6 years, the HSE has had regard to the Capital funding available each year. The programme of works prioritises the completion of smaller projects in the earlier years of the Plan with larger projects, including those to be developed under the PPP model, to be commenced later.

Through normal ongoing engagements with the HSE it has recently advised that significant progress has been made and almost 30% of the projects have been completed to date. Construction is underway on a number of others, while the remainder are at various stages of appraisal, planning and/or design.

The HSE has indicated to the Department of Health two and a half years in advance of the December 2021 regulatory deadline that it expects over 80% of the projects will be complete or under construction by that time. While this represents substantial progress on the Programme, it is recognised that not all centres are likely to be completed within the originally planned timeframe.

The HSE has recently commenced an integrated package of work to examine each of the CNU projects as to their current status, next stages of development, timelines and costs.

The Department and the HSE are in early engagement which allows for the issues to be worked through to determine the best course of action and to discuss the extent of additional costs and any measures that could be adopted to mitigate challenges arising.

The HSE Capital Plan, published recently, provides for €220m capital funding to the CNU programme over the period 2019 to 2021 and also sets out the current status of all projects within the programme.

As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to you in relation to the status of individual projects.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Ceisteanna (1160)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1160. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the serious shortage of beds in the Dublin 15 area for older persons in need of both step-down care and nursing home care; his plans to provide adequate care for older persons in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36039/19]

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.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Question No. 1162 answered with Question No. 1159.

Ceisteanna (1161)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1161. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the healthcare facilities at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown available to older persons that need nursing home care and in need of specialised step-down care; the number of beds including step-down care beds available to older persons in need of such care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36040/19]

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.

Question No. 1162 answered with Question No. 1159.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Ceisteanna (1163)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1163. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health if the senior care centre at Woodlands on the Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown campus has been closed; his plans for an alternative use of the Woodlands building and complex; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36042/19]

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.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Ceisteanna (1164)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1164. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the number of step-down care beds and long-term residential care beds, respectively at St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park. [36043/19]

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.

Care of the Elderly Provision

Question No. 1166 answered with Question No. 1159.

Ceisteanna (1165)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1165. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the senior care centres available to older persons in the Dublin 15 and Navan Road areas in tabular form; the name of each institution that provides either day care or long-term residential care and respite care; the location of each of these facilities; and the number of beds available in each facility. [36044/19]

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.

Question No. 1166 answered with Question No. 1159.

Blind Welfare Allowance Data

Ceisteanna (1167)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1167. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health the estimated cost of the blind welfare allowance in 2019. [36047/19]

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

Blind Welfare Allowance Eligibility

Question No. 1169 answered with Question No. 829.

Ceisteanna (1168)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

1168. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Health his plans to taper the withdrawal of the blind welfare allowance in circumstances in which a blind person takes up employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36048/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Blind Welfare Allowance is a means tested, supplementary payment, which is administered by the Health Service Executive. It is paid on a weekly basis to eligible persons from 18 years of age, who are blind or visually impaired who are in receipt of an existing Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection income maintenance payment; or an equivalent type Social Security payment from another country; or to eligible persons whose income is below the combined Blind Pension rate and Blind Welfare Allowance rate.

As this is a means tested payment, the rate of the Blind Welfare Allowance payable is determined on the basis of the total assessable income of the applicant.

As the administration of the Blind Welfare Allowance is a service matter, I have arranged for the Deputy's question to be referred to the Health Service Executive, for a more detailed reply to the Deputy.

Question No. 1169 answered with Question No. 829.