Hospital Staff Data

Ceisteanna (179)

John Brassil

Ceist:

179. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the full-time necessary staffing requirement for all services in Kerry University Hospital in terms of nurses; the numbers in the hospital and the areas they are underserviced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40079/19]

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.

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (180, 181)

James Browne

Ceist:

180. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the provision of ECT at a location (details supplied); if an anaesthetist is employed there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40084/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

James Browne

Ceist:

181. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if ECT is currently available in an area (details supplied); if patients can receive treatment elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40085/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 180 and 181 together.

As these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Psychological Services

Ceisteanna (182)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

182. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the number of child psychologists working in the health service in the Dublin 11 area; the average waiting time for a child to access a child psychologist in Dublin 11; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40087/19]

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 (183)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

183. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal will receive an appointment at Letterkenny University Hospital outpatient clinic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40092/19]

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.

Hospital Services

Ceisteanna (184)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

184. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Health if a letter of complaint sent to Letterkenny University Hospital by a person (details supplied) was received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40093/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is an operational matter, I have referred the question to the HSE for direct reply.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (185)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

185. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health the number of nursing home residents availing of the saver transitional arrangements under the nursing home support scheme; if the saver provision also applied to persons in long-term residential psychiatric care on the day the nursing home support scheme came into force that subsequently transferred to long-term geriatric care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40094/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Section 12 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009 included a transitional provision whereby relevant nursing home residents could opt to remain outside the Scheme if they were already receiving long-term residential care within the meaning of that Act prior to the Scheme's commencement on 27 October 2009.  Those availing of this option continued to be covered by any pre-existing charging or contributions or subvention frameworks applicable to them.  HSE data indicates that these transitional provisions currently apply to fewer than 700 nursing home residents (691 in July 2019). 

These transitional provisions did not apply to those transferring, on or after 27 October 2009, to long-term residential care in a relevant nursing home from other types of care, including from residential psychiatric care.

Drug Trials

Ceisteanna (186)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

186. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Health if clarity will be provided on a clinical drug trial relating to Duchenne muscular dystrophy for which Dublin would be a trial site (details supplied); the reason the drug trial was not carried out in Dublin; if this was due to a decision by the company; if so, the reason provided for the decision not to use Dublin as a trial site; the efforts under way to have Dublin reinstated as a trial site; if his attention has been drawn to the distress caused to families of persons with the condition by the decision not to carry out this drug trial here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40096/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The requirements for the conduct of clinical trials in the EU are set out in Directive 2001/20/EC, which is transposed into national law by the European Communities (Clinical Trials on Medicinal Products for Human Use) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 190 of 2004), as amended.

As Minister for Health, I have no role in the authorisation of clinical trials, nor in the determination of what clinical trials are conducted in Ireland and their location. The decision to proceed with a clinical trial at a site within the EU, which is in compliance with the regulations, is a decision made by a commercial entity.

Health Care Infrastructure Provision

Ceisteanna (187)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

187. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if capital funding is being included in 2020 plans for the expansion of an intensive care unit at Tallaght University Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40099/19]

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 includes a number of developments at Tallaght University Hospital such as the renal dialysis unit and the intensive care unit.

The HSE is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects and has advised that renal dialysis project is currently under construction and is funded to completion.

Meanwhile, the expansion and upgrade of the intensive care unit is at design stage and is expected to progress to the construction stage once the renal dialysis development has been completed.

It is important to recognise that all capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, including detailed appraisal, planning, design and procurement, before a firm timeline or funding requirement can be established.  The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure that the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs.

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (188)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

188. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if the new funding model for persons with disabilities and multi-annual funding will be implemented (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40119/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Independent Review Group was established in August 2017 to examine the role of voluntary organisations in health and personal social services. I welcomed the publication of the Independent Review Group’s final report in February 2019, as did Minister McGrath.

The Group makes a series of findings and linked recommendations in its report, spanning a broad range of areas, including funding and governance of organisations. These recommendations are made to the Department, HSE, other State bodies, and voluntary organisations themselves.

It is important to note that the Group did not identify a new model for the funding of services for people with a disability, or any other health and personal service area, nor were they requested to do so.

Many of the recommendations align with work already underway to progress the Sláintecare programme. The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to reform the funding system to support new models of care and drive value to make better use of resources. In this regard the Department is examining the feasibility of implementing multi-annual budgeting in the healthcare system, including in Social Care and disability service provision.

Rehabilitative Training Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (189)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

189. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason the rehabilitative training allowance is to be abolished for persons with disabilities (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40120/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

This 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.  The 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. 

The payment of the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus came into place on the transition of Rehabilitative / Training Programmes to the HSE following the dissolution of the National Rehabilitation Board in June 2000.

The decision to phase out the Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus payment is designed to bring equity and consistency between people with a disability attending HSE funded rehabilitative training programmes who receive the payment, and those attending similar HSE funded Day Services or in other State schemes such as further education and training, who do not.  

This action will ensure all HSE funded Day Services are provided on an equitable basis and will also ensure that the use of finite resources is maximised. 

The Rehabilitative Training (RT) Bonus Payment is a historical payment, introduced in July 2001, aligned with a similar FÁS Training Bonus. However, during 2011 the FÁS Training Bonus was reduced to €20.00 and then eliminated the following year while to date the RT Bonus Payment has continued to be paid in the Health Sector  

It is worth remembering that:

There is no cut in the number of RT places available

There is no cut in payment of the bonus - those who have it will continue to receive it for the remainder of their RT Placement

All participants continue to be eligible for Disability Allowance of €203 per week

All participants continue to be eligible for a free travel pass

No expectation of an additional RT bonus payment has been created by HSE for 2019 participants

The redirected funding (€3.7 m over 4 years), which will be ring-fenced, will facilitate 148 full day placements or 370 enhanced day places nationally based on priority need.

Each CHO will have the flexibility to redirect its own savings to address local service requirements. The HSE will put in place a monitoring system and regularly report the additional placements realised to the Department of Health.

Hospital Equipment

Ceisteanna (190)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

190. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health his plans for a scanner in University Hospital Kerry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40121/19]

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.

Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Ceisteanna (191)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

191. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health when the changes to the fair deal scheme will be fully implemented in order that families can properly plan for the nursing home care of their loved ones; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40127/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The proposed policy change to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), to cap contributions based on farm and business assets at 3 years where a family successor commits to working the productive asset, has been approved by Government. My Department developed draft Heads of Bill while considering a number of complex ancillary policy and operational matters which may need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.

It is intended that this proposed policy change, the 3 year cap, will be extended to eligible existing participants in long term residential care so that they are not disadvantaged, but that there would be no retrospective recoupment of contributions for those who have paid contributions over and above the 3 year period.

The General Scheme of Bill for the NHSS was approved by Government on the 11th June 2019 and subsequently published. The changes to the Scheme will come into effect as soon as the legislative process is successfully complete. I intend to progress this as quickly as possible, however, the timeline for completion of the legislation will also depend on how it passes through the Houses. The General Scheme has been sent to the relevant Joint Committee and I look forward to participating in pre-legislative scrutiny when a date is agreed with the Committee.

National Children's Hospital Status

Question No. 193 answered with Question No. 162.

Ceisteanna (192)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

192. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the construction of the new national children’s hospital; the estimated cost of its construction; when the hospital will be open and operational; and the cost projections for specific items (details supplied) in tabular form. [40138/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has statutory responsibility for planning, designing, building and equipping the new children's hospital.  I have referred your question to the NPHDB for direct reply.

Question No. 193 answered with Question No. 162.

Health Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (194)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

194. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the steps he has taken to preserve the archive of blood spot screening cards retained without consent between 1984 and 2011 which could provide a lifesaving diagnosis for a large number of at risk family members of sudden cardiac death victims that died within this timeframe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40143/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Following a complaint made to the Data Protection Commissioner in 2009, the State was found to be in breach of both EU and national data protection legislation in relation to the retention of newborn screening cards without consent.

A policy was developed to review and address the legal and ethical requirements arising for the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme. This came into operation in July 2011.

Specifically, this policy requires parental consent for the primary use of screening (a baby) for 8 rare conditions. The policy also allows the card to be retained for a specific period of 10 years. Any secondary use (including research) requires explicit parental consent for that secondary use.

 A decision in relation to the archive of blood spot screening cards retained without consent (1984-June 2011) is well advanced and I expect this to be finalised in the coming months.

Agriculture Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (195)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

195. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an application by a person (details supplied) for a single farm payment will be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39982/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

A 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constaints Scheme application in respect of the person named was received in my Department on 8th March 2019.

Processing of this application has recently been completed and a payment under the Area of Natural Constraints Scheme will issue shortly.

Payments under the Basic Payment Scheme are due to commence in mid October.

Agriculture Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (196)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

196. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an application will be processed for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39998/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

A 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constaints Scheme application in respect of the person named was received in my Department on 2nd March 2019.

Processing of this application is ongoing and an official of my Department has made direct contact with the person named in order to progress this case.

Agriculture Scheme Applications

Ceisteanna (197)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

197. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when an application for a person (details supplied) will be processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40000/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named submitted a 2019 Basic Payment/Areas of Natural Constraints Schemes application on the 23rd April 2019. EU Regulations governing the administration of these schemes require that full and comprehensive administrative checks, including in some cases remote sensing (i.e. satellite) inspections, be completed before any payments issue.

The application of the person named was selected for a remote sensing eligibility inspection. This inspection has been completed and the person named was notified of the findings by letter dated 30th September 2019.  The notification issued outlines the options available at this stage, namely to accept the findings or to submit comments to my Department for consideration. On completion of this process, the inspection outcome will be finalised and any payments due will issue to the nominated bank account of the person named as soon as possible.

Beef Environmental Efficiency Scheme Pilot

Ceisteanna (198)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

198. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will streamline certain elements of the beef environmental efficiency pilot scheme to assist farmers in rural Ireland who do not have access to high speed broadband and therefore may have difficulty completing all the details required in relation to the leasing or sourcing of weighing equipment within the specified seven to 14 days; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40057/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) is a pilot scheme to further increase economic and environmental efficiency in the suckler herd through better quality data on herd performance, specifically as it relates to weaning efficiency of the cow, supporting decision making on farm. There are currently 19,131 participants in BEEP.

The BEEP scheme builds on the success of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) with a funding provision of €20m in 2019. This pilot scheme is targeted at suckler farmers and specifically aimed at further improving the carbon efficiency of beef production.

BEEP was designed to be as accessible to farmers as possible and support is available through local marts to enable farmers to access the necessary equipment to participate in the pilot.  It is also possible to submit weight data over the phone to ICBF, so access to high speed broadband is not necessary for participation in BEEP.