I propose to take Questions Nos. 306, 308 and 309 together.
In December 2009 the Department of Health published Palliative Care for Children with Life Limiting Conditions: a National Policy. Containing 31 recommendations under 19 headings, the structures set out in the Policy are designed to meet the palliative care needs of children born
with a life-limiting condition and their families across all care settings.
The policy states that the preferred location of care for these children is the home and recommends the development of hospice at home services.
To respond to the increasing demand for palliative care services for children, the HSE, with co-funding from the Irish Hospice Foundation, established a Children’s Palliative Care Programme including three elements: a consultant post, an education programme, and the appointment of clinical nurse co-ordinators.
A 2016 Evaluation of the Children’s Palliative Care Programme encouraged hospital groups to examine their provision of paediatric palliative care, and a national policy endorsement of the development of children’s palliative care as a speciality. Each hospital group and local HSE management is requested to provide each Clinical Nurse Co-ordinator with administrative support.
With respect to the Deputy's specific queries, as these are service matters I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.