Ministers Harris and Daly announce opening of a Public Consultation on Home Care Services
Minister for Health, Simon Harris, TD, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly, TD, today announced the opening of a public consultation on home care services. The consultation is being carried out in order to help inform the development of a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home care services.
Minister Harris said “My priority is to ensure that our older people get the best care possible. For many that is long-term nursing home care, but for many others that care can be provided in their own homes, surrounded by the people and communities that they love. Unfortunately, as a country, the only statutory scheme we have in place at present to care for our elderly is the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, ‘a Fair Deal’. I am determined to change this and to establish a new statutory homecare scheme which is affordable and sustainable. We will also introduce a system of regulation for home care so that the public can be confident that the services provided are of a high standard. By doing this, we will help to ensure that people can continue to live with confidence, security and dignity in their own homes, for as long as possible”.
Minister Daly stated that “Homecare is an increasingly important part of the supports we offer to older people, and will continue to increase in importance into the future, as our ageing population grows. It is estimated that about 20% of the over 65 population receive some form of community-based support service annually from the State. I am committed to enabling more care in the community for older people and others with identified care needs. I would like to find out what people think about current home care services – what is working well and what needs to be improved. I also want to hear the public’s views on what the future scheme should look like. This will help us to design a home care system that better meets the needs of service users”.
Minister Daly went on to say that “I intend to consult with stakeholders throughout the process of developing the new scheme. As such, today is just the start of a broader consultation process on home care. This will ensure that everyone with an interest in home care will be given the opportunity to have their voice heard”.
The consultation paper launched today is particularly aimed at people who use home care services, their families and the general public. However, everyone with an interest, including: health and social care providers; health and social care workers; advocacy groups; those providing complementary services (such as meals-on-wheels and social activities); and representative organisations is welcome to participate.
The consultation paper is available online at http://health.gov.ie/consultations and the closing date for submissions is 31 August 2017.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The public consultation will take place over an eight-week period ending 31 August. Two versions of the consultation paper have been launched simultaneously – a shorter, “Easy Read” version and a more detailed version.
Submissions can be made by:
· Completing the consultation online at http://health.gov.ie/consultations;
· Downloading the consultation paper and returning it by post to the Department; or
· Requesting a copy of the consultation paper from the Department and returning it by post.
It is important to note that the consultation paper launched today is just the start of a broader consultation process on home care. The Department will also be consulting by:
· Meeting with individuals and groups so they can tell us directly what they think;
· Meeting with home care service provider organisations and other organisations that represent people who use home care services so they have the opportunity to put forward their views; and
· Asking everyone with an interest in home care services to tell us what they think of our plans when they are developed.
A report of the findings of this consultation process will be published.