Questions to the Minister for Health (Leo Varadkar, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if outreach genetics clinics, which were operated by the National Centre for Medical Genetics, will continue; the persons or body that will have responsibility for clinical governance of such clinics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
To ask the Minister for Health his plans and the timeframe for developing a national genetic and genomic medicine network, as recommended in the review of genetic services at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWERS on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.
A review of the genetics service at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, commissioned by the HSE was submitted in May last year. This report made a number of recommendations on both internal and national service issues, which will be addressed by the HSE in conjunction with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the Children’s Hospital Group. The report included a recommendation that a Steering Group should be established to develop a National Genetic and Genomic Medicine Network that reflects best international practice. The Steering Group will be established in February to develop a plan for the National Network, which is expected to take a number of months and which will, when complete, be submitted to the HSE for approval and consideration of resources in the context of the Estimates process.
There has been no reduction in the scope of the services provided by the genetics service at Crumlin. The hub-and-spoke model for genetic services is a well-established and recognised model of service delivery and there are no plans to change this approach. The HSE considers the genetic counselling services as a networked service, with genetic counsellors working with families that need counselling and advice, working under the clinical governance of a consultant and linking into colleagues at Crumlin.
As with all patient services the governance for service delivery rests with the organisation that provides the service – therefore if a patient attends OLCH Crumlin for genetic services, OLCH Crumlin is accountable and if the genetics service is provided by another hospital, that hospital is accountable for their service.