Enabling people to continue to live independently at home for as long as possible is a long-standing objective of the Government. To advance this, the Government is committed to establishing a new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support services. Sláintecare commits to the establishment of this scheme by the end of 2021.
Throughout 2019, the Department of Health has been engaged in designing the scheme based on continual enhancement of existing service-provision and on good practice internationally in relation to health and social care delivery.
As part of Budget 2020, €7m has been allocated for the testing of the new model of service delivery envisaged as part of the development of the statutory home-support scheme. My Department is working with the HSE to finalise the plan for the testing phase which is expected to take place throughout 2020.
I consider stakeholder engagement to be a critical part of the development of the statutory home support scheme and my Department has already undertaken a public consultation, a policy dialogue and has met with key stakeholders on a number of occasions. I look forward to on-going consultation with all stakeholders, including advocacy groups, throughout the testing phase.