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Written Answers - Health Service Staff

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 59.  Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating  asked the Minister for Health following Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the recommendations by the legal aspects of professional home care as reported by the Law Reform Commission (details supplied), his views that such recommendations should be implemented immediately by the Health Service Executive; the steps that need to be taken for these to be introduced including training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16205/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Law Reform Commission’s recent report, entitled Legal Aspects of Professional Home Care, is a follow up to its 2009 consultation paper entitled Legal Aspects of Carers.

Primary legislation and resources will be required for the introduction of a statutory regulation system for home care services. The question of possible changes to legislation, including regulation and inspection, for Home Care services for older people is under consideration. The Department is, at present, examining this matter in the overall context of the licensing of Health Care providers. Legislation is currently being prepared in this regard, taking into account the recommendations of the Commission on Patient Safety, and the Law Reform Commission. Various options are being considered at present, including the complex legal issues involved, and the need to prioritise legislation across the Social Care area overall. It is important to emphasise that statutory regulation or licensing is only one way of improving the safety and quality of services and that other measures have or are being taken to improve the standards of community service for older people delivered by, or on behalf of, the Health Service Executive (HSE). These are reflected in the agreed HSE Service Plan 2012 and includes a recently finalised public Procurement Framework for Home Care services (with quality and screening requirements); new National Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support Services, and new National Home Help Guidelines.

[721]These various measures, taken together, have been designed to improve relevant aspects of HSE Home Care provision nationally, including taking into account the issues raised by the Deputy, for care recipients under the auspices of the Executive.


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