Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (304, 305, 307)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

304. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health his views on the lack of palliative care for paediatric patients in the South/South West Hospital Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Butler

Ceist:

305. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health the staffing structure within the palliative care team in terms of paediatric care in the South/South West Hospital Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46066/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Butler

Ceist:

307. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Health if he is satisfied that children of all ages who are patients in need of palliative care in the South/South West Hospital Group have access to such care; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46068/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 304, 305 and 307 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 regard 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.