Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (215, 216, 217, 218)

John Deasy

Ceist:

215. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health when the new 20-bed south east palliative care unit at University Hospital Waterford will be fully commissioned and operational; the reason for the delay in opening the facility to patients in view of the fact that it was officially handed over to the HSE almost six months ago; and if the delay in opening the unit has been caused by cost overruns associated with the national children’s hospital project. [40633/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Deasy

Ceist:

216. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the considerable financial contribution made towards the new south east palliative care unit at University Hospital Waterford by a company (details supplied) through public fundraising over the past three decades; and if his attention has been further drawn to the disappointment expressed by its directors at the failure to open this facility to date and their expectation that it may not be operational until mid-2020. [40634/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Deasy

Ceist:

217. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health if his Department has received an indicative budget for the specific staffing and operational costs associated with the full-time utilisation of the new south east palliative care unit at University Hospital Waterford; the provision that has been or will be made to meet the funding requirement by the HSE; and when the necessary allocation will be forthcoming to allow recruitment of staff to take place. [40635/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Deasy

Ceist:

218. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Health the reason the recruitment requirement for the new south east palliative care unit was not advertised in parallel with the Dunmore wing construction project at University Hospital Waterford in view of the complexities involved in securing appropriately qualified staff. [40636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 215 to 218, inclusive, together.

The HSE's 2019 National Service Plan committed to progress the opening, in Q4 2019 and within existing resources, of three new hospices, including one in Waterford, with a view to the services being fully operational in 2020.

I would like to commend Waterford Hospice Movement for its efforts in raising the capital for the construction of the specialist palliative care unit in Waterford. Acknowledgement must also be given to the people of Waterford, who have so generously contributed to this project.

The HSE has allocated once-off funding of €0.3 million to the new hospice in Waterford to prepare the facility for operation in 2020. This is a once-off funding allocation for use in funding non-pay expenditure such as utilities, services, cleaning, supplies, and minor equipment. 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 the new hospice in Waterford, will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.

With regard to when the hospice will be fully operational, and the recruitment of staff to operate the hospice, as these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.