Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health
HSE Winter Plan: HSE
We touched on this aspect slightly, but I want to spend more time on the treatment of chronic disease and how it interacts with the winter plan as set out. I refer to chronic disease as encompassing things such as diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular conditions. A chronic disease management programme that was in the process of being rolled out before the Covid-19 crisis included things like patient education, preventative care, medication reviews and individual care plans. There was much emphasis on lifestyle and supporting patients. Chronic illness is a large spectrum. Some people have a management plan that is working for them, but there are also more complex cases. A modified and structured chronic disease management programme has been issued by the HSE. I would like to unpack that in respect of the winter plan, however. It is mentioned a little bit, and the key sentence I get from the document is: "Implement a structured programme for chronic disease management and prevention, with an anticipated 75% uptake". Can we unpack that sentence and get more information on how that is working? Is that happening through the community hubs? Have we any idea of how effective this programme is? It encompasses hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland.