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Speech by Minister Roisin Shortall T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health on a Topical Issue Debate regarding the Fair Deal scheme.
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme will be three years in operation in October 2012 and is on schedule to be reviewed in 2012.
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme was introduced in 2009 with the commitment to review its operation after three years. The reason for allowing this period to elapse is to ensure that trends and statistics will be available in order to inform the work. The review is now on schedule for 2012 and in the course of preparation. Read the rest of this entry »
Speech by Ms Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health on a Topical Issue regarding Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: I would like to thank Deputy Conway for raising this issue for discussion today and giving me the opportunity to outline to the House the very significant improvements in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services which were achieved in 2011.
Against a backdrop of reducing resources and increased demand for services, reflected in an increase in child and adolescent psychiatric referrals of almost 10%, the HSE has succeeded in reducing the child and adolescent waiting list by over 21% in 2011. This clearly highlights the fact that in Mental Health we are facing the challenges presented, and we can and will continue to make improvements and do more with less. Read the rest of this entry »
Speech by Ms Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health on a Topical Issue regarding long term care beds in St. Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park
St Mary’s Hospital:
St Mary’s Hospital was built in 1769. It was originally the Royal Hibernian Military School. The building was subsequently developed as a hospital by the Irish Army and in 1948 the hospital was transferred to the Dublin Health Authority and developed as a Chest Hospital. In 1964 the hospital became a facility for older people.
St Mary’s primarily provides accommodation to dependent older persons aged 65 years or over who requires admission, assessment, rehabilitation, respite and continuing care.
Following an inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority towards the end of 2011 the HSE decided to close 2 wards. The Deputy will appreciate that certain wards in the older parts of the Hospital are extremely antiquated and by their nature are unfit for purpose. It should also be noted that at the time of building the new community nursing units at St Mary’s Hospital in 2008 it was envisaged that bed numbers in the older part of the Hospital would reduce.
One such ward has closed and the residents have been transferred to more appropriate residential care facilities in the area. A second ward is currently being closed, bringing the total reduction to 41 beds. Staff are working with the residents and their families to ensure that residents are placed in the most appropriate care settings for their needs.
As the Deputy is aware the HSE is facing challenges in respect of all services in 2012. In the case of Community Nursing Units these include challenges regarding staffing, funding and the age and structure of its units. The HSE’s National Service Plan anticipates that between a minimum of 555 and maximum of 898 residential beds in public nursing homes could close during 2012.
Minister Reilly has requested that the HSE provide him with a plan which seeks to protect the viability of as many units as possible within the funding and staffing resources available. It is accepted that this will require a combination of actions such as consolidation of services; and changes in staffing, skill mix and work practices. The plan will also have to take into account different types of services required, the age and structure of public units and the capacity available within an area.
All developments have to be addressed in the light of the current economic and budgetary pressures and any decisions taken by the HSE must have regard to this and the current moratorium. I trust the House will agree that we need to ensure that the highest standard of care will continue to be provided to all residents in a safe and secure environment. Providing quality and safe care will always remain at the heart of any considerations.