Press Release

National Policy and Strategy for the Provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011 – 2015

The report of the working group on the development of a national policy and strategy for the provision of neuro-rehabilitation services is published today by the Department of Health.

The report, entitled “National Policy and Strategy for the Provision of Neuro-rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011 – 2015”, recognises that given the current economic climate, the focus in the short to medium term has to be on reconfiguration of services, structures and resources and the enhancement of the skills and competencies required to meet the changing context.

In this context, the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Directorate of the HSE, as part of its development of clinical care programmes, has established a Rehabilitation Medicine Programme, led by a team of national experts. The three main objectives of the Rehabilitation Medicine Programme are to improve the quality of care; improve access to services and improve cost effectiveness. The HSE has appointed Dr Áine Carroll, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at the National Rehabilitation Hospital as clinical lead in respect of the rehabilitation medicine programme.

The HSE is committed to work with the Rehabilitation Medicine Programme to support the development of an implementation plan based on the recommendations of the National Policy and Strategy for the Provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services.

The focus for service development in the first 3 years of this policy and strategy will be on:

  • network development;
  • integration of services;
  • development of protocols that will have mandatory compliance across the delivery system;
  • reconfiguration of existing resources;
  • achieving greater cost-effectiveness through the development of greater competencies by those tasked with delivering services;
  • increased teamwork and using interdisciplinary approaches;
  • more interagency collaborative working.

Many references have been made throughout this report to the need for an intersectoral approach and commitment if the full continuum of need is to be addressed. The development of joint-working or interagency protocols are a key requirement and will be central to its implementation.

Welcoming the publication, the Minister of State, Kathleen Lynch T.D. said “Realising the actions recommended in this policy and strategy will provide real challenges, especially against a landscape of significant economic and resource constraints. However, I know that with the commitment of the HSE and Service Providers to the implementation process, we can achieve improved rehabilitation services for those persons with a neurological illness or injury or with a significant physical disability”.

Read the Report