Adams concern at CAMHS and Paediatric Psychology services

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams has reiterated his concerns about the resourcing and staffing of the disability division of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Louth and East Meath and of the Meath Paediatric Psychology service.

Teachta Adams said: “In a recent response to me the Chief Officer for Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation (CHO) detailed some of the serious resource difficulties that this CHO is currently experiencing”.

Gerry Adams said:

“Children who present with moderate to severe mental health problems are seen by the CAMHS service. It is a multi-disciplinary service and the psychologists involved work alongside other related disciplines. Currently only one of the three psychology posts is currently filled.
Psychologists who work within the disability division work with children aged from 6-18. They have responsibility for seeing children with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities, including autism. According to the CHO there are usually over 400 referrals each year to psychologists working in this area. There are currently five WTE (whole time equivalents) posts of which one is vacant.

The young child whose case Cllr Ferguson and I have been raising has been on the children’s disability waiting list for over one year. According to the Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath CHO the waiting lists can vary from between 18 months and two years.
The reason for this is “down to a significant increase in referrals over the last six years to this service in Meath. Also, there have been four staff departures and three staff maternity leaves within the last two years. Due to a shortage of psychologists nationally, and the demand for vacancies to be filled across the country, this has resulted in service gaps over a long period of time with the difficulties being experiences in filling these posts”.

The CHO Chief Officer also revealed that the primary care psychology service which usually receives over 800 referrals each year and provides therapy for child victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, is short three posts out of seven.
 I have written to the Minister for Health. Very clearly there are very significant gaps in service provision within the Meath Paediatric Psychology service and the CAMHS division. I have asked Minister Harris what plans he has to address the obvious gaps in service provision and to fill the staff vacancies that currently exist.”

Louth house price increases cause of concern – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Today two new reports by Daft.ie and Myhome.ie confirm that house prices are soaring and that Louth is experiencing some of the highest growth. Both reports confirm a double digit growth in house prices for the county.

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams last week expressed his concern at the CSO figures on property price increases. Speaking this morning the Louth TD warned that “the comprehensive action plan for housing due to be published in the next few weeks by the government must tackle the twin issues of increasing house prices and spiralling rents, as well as the provision of new social and affordable homes in the housing crisis is to be resolved.”

Teachta Adams said:

“According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), property prices across the state rose by 6.9% in the year to May. While Dublin saw the highest rise in house prices, the rest of the state, including Louth, saw house prices increase by 8.5% over the same period.

The two reports by Daft.ie and Myhome.ie confirm that house prices in Louth are soaring. Myhome reports a 6-4% increase since the beginning of the year and a 11.86% increase in house prices since last year.Daft.ie concludes that house prices have increased by 12.5% in the last year and by 5% from the start of this year.

An earlier Daft.ie quarterly report on rents also revealed significant price increases with the average rent in Louth having risen by 14.2%.

This is the second highest increase in the State, closely following Meath where the average rent is up by 14.8%.

The inability of many households in Louth to secure mortgages to buy a home or to meet the rents now being demanded by landlords is another symptom of the housing crisis in Louth and East Meath.

One of the key recommendations of the Housing and Homeless Committee report published two weeks ago was that the Housing Agency would make an annual audit of private construction costs and compare these with other jurisdictions.

The Committee strongly recommended a shift in Government policy away from using the private sector to meet social housing need. Its central recommendation calls for the provision of 50,000 real social houses over the next five years.

Increasing the stock of social housing will alleviate pressure on the private housing market while in the interim the report proposed a number of measures to help families stay in their rented homes. Specifically it demanded that rent certainty be introduced, by linking rent reviews to an index such as the Consumer Price Index in order to provide some stability for both tenants and landlords.

Tenant rights should also be strengthened and this includes providing additional protection to tenants in repossessed buy-to-lets.

Imelda Munster and I will examine closely Minister Coveney’s proposals to see whether they help households in this constituency.”

CSO Figures on House prices cause of concern for Louth – Adams

Imelda & GerrySinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his concern at the CSO figures on property price increases that were published last week.

The Louth TD warned that “the comprehensive action plan for housing due to be published in the next few weeks by the government must tackle the twin issues of increasing house prices and spiralling rents, as well as the provision of new social and affordable homes in the housing crisis is to be resolved.”

Teachta Adams said:

“According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), property prices across the state rose by 6.9% in the year to May. While Dublin saw the highest rise in house prices, the rest of the state, including Louth, saw house prices increase by 8.5% over the same period.

The CSO figures are in line with statistics produced by the online site Daft.ie which in their Quarterly House Prices Report in April revealed that the price of a three bedroom property in Louth had increased by a massive 16.7%.

A separate Daft.ie quarterly report on rents also revealed price increases with the average rent in Louth having increased by 14.2%.

This is the second highest increase in the State, closely following Meath where the average rent is up by 14.8%.

The inability of many households in Louth to secure mortgages to buy a home or to meet the rents now being demanded by landlords is another symptom of the housing crisis in Louth and East Meath.

One of the key recommendations of the Housing and Homeless Committee report published two weeks ago was that the Housing Agency would make an annual audit of private construction costs and compare these with other jurisdictions.

The Committee strongly recommended a shift in Government policy away from using the private sector to meet social housing need. Its central recommendation calls for the provision of 50,000 real social houses over the next five years.

Increasing the stock of social housing will alleviate pressure on the private housing market while in the interim the report proposed a number of measures to help families stay in their rented homes. Specifically it demanded that rent certainty be introduced, by linking rent reviews to an index such as the Consumer Price Index in order to provide some stability for both tenants and landlords.

Tenant rights should also be strengthened and this includes providing additional protection to tenants in repossessed buy-to-lets.

Imelda Munster and I will examine closely Minister Coveney’s proposals to see whether they help households in this constituency.”

Adams concern at variation in immunisation and mortality rates affecting OLOL

Gerry Adams SmilingLouth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “serious concern at the findings of the Second Annual Report of the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System which reveals some disturbing information about immunisation levels in Louth and mortality and surgery rates in Our Lady of Lourdes”.

Teachta Adams said: “There is an onus on the HSE and the Minister for Health to investigate the variations in immunisation, mortality and surgery rates between hospitals. I am especially worried by some of the figures relating to Louth and Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Minister and the Health Service Executive have a responsibility to ensure patient safety.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The second annual report of the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS) is intended to measure health service performance and outcomes of care within the health service. It is also intended to identify problems, facilitate improvements and help health providers take decisions to improve the system.

Some of its conclusions are encouraging, for example the fact that survival rates for patients with breast and colorectal cancer within the health service are improving.

However, the report also reveals that Louth is among the worst counties in the state for immunisation rates for the Mumps, Rubella and Rubella diseases. The target for immunisation across the state is 95%. The current rate stands at 93% but Louth lags behind on between 89-90%.

Meningococcal bacteria can result in meningitis, septicaemia or both. It can lead to death or serious disability. According to the NHQRS report the state target is 95% of children immunised. The uptake rates for children at 24 months across the state for 2014-15 is 88%. But Louth lags behind here also with between 80-81% of children immunized at 24 months.

  • In-hospital mortality at Our Lady of Lourdes in some treatments is also a cause of concern. According to the NHQRS a heart attack is one of the leading causes of death. The trend has seen an overall reduction within 30 days of admission from a high of 9.3 deaths per 100 in 2006 to 6.0 deaths per 100 cases in 2015. In OLOL the rate is slightly higher at 6.22 deaths per 100 cases.
  • In-hospital mortality from a haemorrhagic stroke within 30 days of admission is also a cause of worry. Speedy diagnosis and treatment can improve survival and limit the risk of disability. In 2013 the average in-hospital mortality rate within 30 days of admission with haemorrhagic stroke was 24.6 per 100 cases. This is higher than the OECD (Organisation for Economic and Co-operation Development) average of 22.6 deaths per 100 cases.

In Our Lady of Lourdes the in-hospital mortality rate is higher again at 26.64 per 100 cases.

  • In 2013 the in-hospital mortality rate within 30 days of admission at Our Lady of Lourdes for patients admitted to the hospital with an ischaemic stroke was, at 9.21 deaths per 100 cases, higher than the OECD average of 8.4 deaths per 100 cases.

Finally, the in-hospital waiting time for patients waiting for hip fracture surgery was also analysed by the NHQRS. It found that the average proportion of patients undergoing surgery within 2 days of admission was 82.3% across the state. For Our Lady of Lourdes the figure was less at 76.6% of patients.

And when it came to caesarean sections Our Lady of Lourdes with 33.3% per 100 patients had the fourth highest rate of caesarean sections in the state.

The NHQRS report is a detailed comprehensive report which contains a significant body of information that requires careful examination and analysis.

The public needs to have confidence in our public health service, in the care they receive and in our acute hospitals.

This report raises questions about whether patient safety and quality of care are compromised in some locations, or across some specialties.

It is the responsibility of the Minister for Health and the HSE, as well as the hospital and hospital group, to address these matters.

I have written to the Minister asking him what actions he intends to take following the findings of the Report.”

 

Adams – Concern at St Joseph’s Refurbishment Delays

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed concern at the “slow pace of progress toward the refurbishment of St. Joseph’s Ardee.

The Louth TD said:

“I have visited St. Joseph’s Nursing Home many times. It is a long stay facility which currently provides 20 nursing Home Support Scheme beds.

The staff, residents and families are to be commended for their campaign in recent years to defend St. Joseph’s and to ensure that it receives the necessary funding to keep it up to HIQA standards.

Almost two years ago a refurbishment plan was put in place to bring St. Josephs up to HIQA Environmental Standards by this year.

It was expected that a planning application would be made in the following months with a contractor being appointed before the end of 2014. Actual construction was expected to take between 6 months and a year to complete.

In a Parliamentary Question I submitted to the Minister for Health I asked if St. Joseph’s had received its full €750,000 capital investment funding to meet HIQA standards.

In a HSE response to me last week it was confirmed that the capital funding has been allocated “however the HSE are still waiting the granting of full planning permissions from the Louth County Council.”

I have now written to Louth County Manager Joan Martin asking for the Council’s time frame for dealing with planning matters relating to St. Joseph’s. I am concerned that this process has taken too long and that consequently residents are being forced to remain in conditions that do not meet HIQAs standard.”