Expansion of Naas Hospital must be Prioritised

Kildare County Council recently allowed the HSE to extend the planning permission for an extension to Naas General Hospital. The proposed extension includes new endoscopy and day services units. Physical medicine and oncology departments would also be constructed.
The extension of planning permission is welcome. However, it highlights how the HSE have stalled on this project since planning permission was first granted in 2014. I have visited the hospital to inspect existing facilities and I have raised this in the Dáil with Minister Simon Harris. It is clear how badly needed the endoscopy unit in particular is needed. Therefore, I welcome this decision but it is imperative that the HSE present concrete plans and funding as soon as possible to develop this much-needed extension.

Lack of Progress on CAMHS Waiting Lists in Kildare

The waiting lists being experienced by patients trying to access the Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Kildare has been criticised. Information released to me following a Parliamentary Question revealed that the average wait time for a non urgent routine appointment is anywhere between 3 and 6 months.

This can sometimes be longer depending on the demand for emergency or urgent appointments. This is despite an extra CAMHS community team being established in the Kildare area since 2017 to deal with population growth.

The continuing difficulties with the CAMHS service represent a real failure by the Government and the HSE to get to grips with the problem. Nationally the service has scarcely over half the required staff and until that is resolved, long waiting lists will remain.

It is frustrating that mental health services for children in Kildare are making little to no progress. Time is of the essence when dealing with vulnerable young people and they are being failed by a Government which has shown an inability to make the necessary improvements to youth mental health services.

State Must Ratify UN Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities

I have called on the Minister for Health to ratify the UN Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities. Currently Ireland is the only European country to have not ratified the convention.

I had the pleasure of meeting a most amazing, passionate and articulate young woman last week, Niamh Herbert from Sallins, who attended the House with me to request Members of the House to advance the passing of this Bill as expeditiously as possible and, indeed, to ratify the convention. Niamh is a student in Trinity College Dublin and she represents herself, the students’ union in the college and a group called Disability and I”. Continue Reading →

Staff Shortages Ensuring Disability Complaints Not Being Dealt With

Waiting_TimesUnless there is an urgent intervention by the Minister for Disability, with additional resources, complaints relating to Assessment of Needs applications will continue to put on the long finger. The HSE informed Fianna Fáil that there are currently 445 complaints currently outstanding as of February 2nd. Continue Reading →