Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
Palliative Care for Children
858. To ask the Minister for Health the outcome of the meeting with the HSE and medical personnel which took place before Christmas 2019 concerning the provision of paediatric palliative care in the south east, taking into account that no paediatric services are available for counties Wexford, Carlow and the south east at present; and if consideration will be given to providing this service to the families of sick children in the near future. [3701/20]
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.
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 in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, an education programme, and the appointment of clinical nurse co-ordinators. A network of 11 clinical nurse co-ordinators is in place, with responsibility for ensuring that children being cared for at home by their families have access to co-ordinated and supportive services. A second consultant took up a position at Temple Street Children's Hospital in February 2019. The Children’s Hospital Group has agreed that both posts will be located in the new national children’s hospital when it opens. These services are available to children across the country, includng the south-east.
With regard to the Deputy's specific query, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.