New statutory regulation of this sector will have to take account of various issues, such as those raised in recent reports of the Law Reform Commission.
Primary legislation and additional resources will be required to introduce statutory regulation for home care services, including for the private sector. The question of possible legislative changes, including regulation and inspection for relevant services, is under consideration in the overall context of licensing Health Care providers. Various options are being examined at present, including the complex legal issues involved, and the need to prioritise legislation across the wider Social Care area, such as that relating to Children or Disabilities.
I wish to stress that statutory regulation is only one way of improving the safety and quality of existing HSE services, and that other operational measures as reflected in the HSE Service Plan 2012 have or are being taken to improve home care services for older people delivered by, or on behalf of, the Executive.
The recent report by NESC is a valuable contribution to our on-going development of policies and services for older people, and it is in that context being examined in detail by the Department.