QUESTION NO: 617 DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Ms. Lynch) by Deputy Bernard J. Durkan for WRITTEN ANSWER on 16/10/2012
* To ask the Minister for Health the reason the Health Service Executive has reduced the patient complement at St Bridget’s Nursing Home, Crooksling at a time when it was necessary to ensure the utilisation of the maximum accommodation for patients and given that previous the full complement of patients was deemed to be 120, if he accepts intervention by the Health Information and Quality Authority resulting in reduction of patient accommodation seriously undermines the efficiency of the hospital and the need to accommodate the maximum need of patients; if he will undertake to ensure that maximum accommodation for 120 patients is retained, the restoration of the ambulance service which has catered for this community based and community supported service including day care services at Crooksling, if he will as a matter of urgency examine the basis upon which it was determined to curtail in any shape or form the quality and scale of services in view of the ability and commitment of staff to accommodate any requirements; if he will accept that action by HIQA and the HSE has sought to undermine the viability and efficacy of services at the hospital; if he will take whatever steps necessary to address this issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Bernard J. Durkan T.D.
This Government is committed to ensuring the health and safety of residents in nursing homes, whether they are private, voluntary or public. In order to ensure this, it is vital that we have effective mechanisms in place to maintain and enhance public confidence in the delivery of quality services. The Health Act, 2007 provides a regime designed to protect residents through an independent inspection and registration system. On 1 July 2009 Statutory responsibility was given to the Chief Inspector of Social Services, part of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to carry out this function.
This responsibility is underpinned by a comprehensive regulatory framework and National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland. All nursing homes are subject to the same core standards and regulations in relation to quality and safety in order to ensure the well being of their residents.
As the specific issues raised by the Deputy are service matters they have been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.