Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1730)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


1730. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health when the sixth progress report on the national Carers' Strategy will be published; his plans to provide additional supports to carers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33845/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As part of the National Carers' Strategy, the Department of Health has committed to the periodic publication of progress reports, highlighting work carried out by relevant Government departments and agencies. The fifth progress report, capturing actions which took place in 2017, was published on the Department of Health's website in August 2018. The Department of Health will work with other departments to determine the timing of future reports. 

Under the National Carers' Strategy, a range of measures have been introduced or extended by the Department of Health and other departments. Funding has been secured for information and training supports for family carers, the development of support networks and support groups to assist with the transition back into social and economic life at the end of the caring role and measures that assist in promoting carer self-identification. In 2016 and 2017, continued payments after the death of the cared for person or their permanent move into residential care or a nursing home was extended from 6 weeks to 12. Since September 2018, free GP visit cards have been extended to persons in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance.

A pilot of the Carers’ Needs Assessment Tool will begin in CHO 2 later this year. This pilot study will greatly benefit the development of a comprehensive, standardised Family Carer Needs Assessment for identifying family carer’s needs by providing an opportunity to refine and improve the needs assessment.

The level of funding available for the Department of Health in 2020 and the quantum of services to be provided by the HSE, including for measures under the National Carers' Strategy,  will be considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process and National Service Planning.