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Tag Archives: Department of Health

Appeal for more end-of-life support

MORE out-of-hours support for end-of-life patients requiring specialised pain management are needed, according to a local carer, who has outlined the “nightmare” experience in looking after her late mother. While the Irish Cancer Society does provide a night nurse for an average of 10 nights, up to a maximum of 14, the carer stated this is inadequate for anyone looking after a patient at home for a number of months. Apart from this service, the carer claimed Milford Hospice, which is the main palliative care provider in the Mid-West, is not in a position to send out a night nurse to deliver pain relief for a patient in the middle of the night. Nursing her mother, who was in her eighties, at home for four months, the carer stated phone support is only available from Milford after 6pm. “No doctor ever came out to my home. I had to take my mother once to a doctor at 10.30pm, some four …

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Review of publicly funded health and personal social services

The Department of Health has launched a public consultation on behalf of the Independent Review Group, established to examine the role of voluntary organisations in publicly funded health and personal social services. Responses to the consultation will help the Independent Review Group to examine how the relationship between the State and voluntary organisations in the area of health and social care should evolve in the future. Dr Catherine Day, chair of the Independent Review Group, said, “The consultation launched today seeks views on the value of the voluntary sector and how to preserve this added value in the future, against a background of changes in Irish society and evolving expectations of how health and personal social care are delivered. It invites comments on a wide range of specific issues which have been raised with us since we began our work last August. I hope many of those interested in these questions will take the time to respond to the consultation …

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New National Adult Safeguarding Policy

A new National Adult Safeguarding Policy is to be developed for the health sector, after Government granted approval for the move this week. The safety and protection of vulnerable people is a key objective of Government and society. The Government’s decision acknowledges the need to build further on the existing range of policies, procedures, codes of practice and legislation aimed at protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults in the health sector in Ireland. The Department of Health will now undertake an extensive exercise of research and policy development to assist in framing an appropriate policy and legislation for the health sector. This will be a complex undertaking and the Department aims to engage with stakeholders to assist in informing the development of the policy. To that end, a public consultation and engagement process will be undertaken in 2018. The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said, “The safety and protection of adults at risk of abuse is paramount. We are committed to …

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Harris notes moves on hospitals agreement

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) noted the publication of the agreement between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group by the two hospitals. In a statement, the Department of Health said, “The minister also particularly welcomes the confirmation by the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of this State will be carried out at the new hospital.” The statement continued, “ The boards of both hospitals are meeting this week and will no doubt review progress to date. The minister and his officials will arrange meetings with the two hospitals shortly. The minister repeats his request that some time be allowed for the detailed work that is necessary. The project is at the very early stages with a planning decision on the hospital not expected until the autumn.” Minister Harris, the statement noted, said the location of all maternity hospitals on the sites of adult …

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Consultation on new homecare scheme

A consultation process in respect of establishing a new statutory homecare scheme is to launched in a matter of months, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee has announced. Also a review by the Health Research Board (HRB) of the way in which homecare services are funded and regulated in four other European countries, which was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2016, is to be published shortly. Minister McEntee said, “My priority is to ensure that our older people get the best care possible. For many that care can be provided in their own homes, surrounded by the people and communities that they love. Unfortunately, as a country, the only statutory scheme we have in place at present to care for our elderly is the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, a Fair Deal. I am determined to change this and to establish a new statutory homecare scheme. “Homecare is an increasingly important part of the …

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Child vaccines from GPs

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Thursday) welcomed the commencement of the Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccination programme. Parents can now avail of Meningococcal B and Rotavirus vaccinations from their family doctor. The rollout follows consultation under the Framework Agreement between the Irish Medical Organisation, the Department of Health and the HSE. The Minister stated, “I am pleased that today Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccines have been added to the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme. I again want to thank the IMO and GPs for helping us deliver this Programme.I look forward to continuing dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract. ” All babies born on, or after October 1, 2016 will receive vaccines for Meningococcal B (Men B) and Rotavirus disease in addition to the other childhood vaccines currently given. The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that …

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Striving for better maternity services

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has launched an eight-week public consultation on draft National Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services. This represents the first service-specific standards developed by HIQA. Standards for maternity services aim to improve the quality and safety of care received from maternity services. HIQA is now looking for feedback from the public on the draft standards. Chief executive of HIQA, Phelim Quinn said, “This marks a new beginning for anyone who uses maternity services. These draft standards have been developed to improve the standard of maternity services offered to women nationally. For most women pregnancy and childbirth are safe and are associated with a happy outcome. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for all and at times this has been due to sub-standard care. Our standards will work to ensure that maternity services are responsive to the needs of all women and their families, and that maternity service providers put women’s needs and preferences at the …

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March 1 wage increase for student nurses

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has welcomed the proposals to increase wages for students’ nurses and midwives. The proposals are to come into effect on March 1 after joint efforts of SIPTU nursing the Department of Health, PNA, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, independent facilitator Sean McHugh, HSE and INMO, with supporting research by USI. The USI found that 93% of student nurses have thought about emigrating when they qualify. USI are hopeful that this number will decrease once the pay increases come into effect. Student nurses and midwives are currently paid below the minimum wage at a rate of €6.49 an hour. “USI welcomes the action by the Government to relieve the strain on financially crippled student nurses,” Kevin Donoghue, USI president, said. “I read about one nursing student who was paid just €374 after tax for working 114 hours in three weeks, which equates to a mere €3.28 an hour. This change in the …

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