Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (198)

Gerry Adams


198. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the approved providers for home care packages in counties Louth and Meath; the way these providers are selected; the way home care services are regulated; if he will address the need for stricter regulations, standards and auditing of home help services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23818/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Government for National Recovery, 2011-2016 commits to developing and implementing national standards for home support services, which will be subject to HIQA inspection. Primary legislation and resources will be required for the introduction of a statutory regulation system for home care services. This is being considered in the wider context of the licensing of Public and Private Health Service Providers.

I would like to emphasise, however that statutory regulation or licensing is only one way of improving quality and safety and the HSE is already progressing a range of measures to improve Home Care provision overall, to standardise services nationally and to promote quality, and safety. These include a Procurement Framework for Home Care Services with quality and screening requirements which came into effect in 2012 and applies to services procured by the HSE from external providers. The HSE is currently undertaking a review of home care services with a view to improving services generally.

In relation to the particular queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy.