Minister Brady notes report on home care services
Áine Brady T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, today (8 February, 2010) noted a report ‘Analysis of Irish Home Care Market’ by the Irish Private Home Care Association (IPHCA) on home care services in Ireland together with the response by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The Minister said “maintaining older people at home with appropriate support has been the thrust of Government policy in recent years and has been significantly developed by the HSE through a number of community based supports such as Home Help, Home Care Packages and Day/Respite care.”
In 2010, the HSE will invest in the region of €210m for Home Help services, and €130m in Home Care Packages. The Government’s commitment to this important area is reflected by the fact that, notwithstanding the current difficult economic circumstances, an additional €10m was provided in the recent Budget to expand the Home Care Package programme to concentrate on reducing inappropriate admissions by older people to the acute hospital and long-term residential care systems. The conclusions reached in the IPHCA report as to how services might be procured in the future will require further detailed consideration. Many of the issues raised in this report were highlighted in the Department of Health and Children report, Evaluation of Home Care Packages, published last December. In the light of the Department’s Evaluation, the HSE has commenced improvements to relevant aspects of Home Care services, including:
- finalising standardised access and operational guidelines for delivery of Home Care Packages;
- adoption by the HSE of a voluntary code of Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support Services for Older People; which will apply to both public and private providers;
- a more standardised approach to Procurement nationally.
“The basic objectives”, the Minister said, “should be to achieve the best possible outcomes for both older people and the State. I will pursue this goal without compromising the flexibility of these services, which are designed to best meet the often complex and multi-disciplinary needs of each individual older person.”