Press Release

Minister Helen McEntee opens seminar about Safeguarding Older People in Residential Services

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD, today opened the ‘Principles of Safeguarding Older People in our Residential Services’ Seminar. The Seminar was addressed to managers and staff in residential care settings for older people, aiming to support them in the delivery of safeguarding training.

This joint initiative between the Health Service Executive and Nursing Homes Ireland builds on previous safeguarding training which was collaboratively delivered to nursing homes and follows on from the safeguarding webinar hosted earlier this year.

Speaking at the Seminar, Minister McEntee said, “We all have a role to play in safeguarding, both as individuals and collectively. We must always seek to uphold the rights of vulnerable persons to live full and meaningful lives in safe and supportive environments. Today’s seminar is about promoting knowledge of what constitutes good care and what helps to prevent abuse and/or neglect.

“Today marks the launch of a Train the Trainer initiative for non-HSE sector nursing homes. This is an important development in ensuring that a consistent safeguarding message is delivered and will provide a foundation for the future delivery of safeguarding training to staff. This approach ensures that the messages being delivered to HSE nursing home staff and private nursing home staff are the same – what we are saying here today is that there should be no ambiguity. It also helps to ensure that the knowledge conveyed through the training is the same, regardless of the setting – whether it be residential care, community care, day care, in disability services or in services for older people.”


Since the publication of the HSE’s ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse – National Policy and Procedures,’ a significant number of structures and resources have been put in place in a relatively short space of time: 9 Safeguarding and Protections Teams (one in each Community Healthcare Organisation) have been established; a National Safeguarding Office has been created to implement the Policy, a National Safeguarding Committee and several Safeguarding and Protection Committees have been established in various Community Health Organisations and finally a standardised safeguarding training programme has been developed for all staff and there is a target to train 8,000 staff this year.