Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters

Disability, Mental Health and Ageing: Engagement with Minister of State at the Department of Health

Ms Siobh?n McArdle:

I thank the Minister and the Deputy. The interRAI assessment will address some of the issues she spoke to which is, at times, a lack of transparency perhaps in how home support may be prioritised. It is really important we are all working to the same level playing field and that we all understand the decision-making for service users and for staff. That will definitely complement the work that is ongoing in terms of increasing the workforce. InterRAI is a care assessment tool that is being rolled out in CHOs, in many hospital settings and in pilot sites to do with home support.

It is a care assessment for all the people who work with an individual, that is, the nursing staff, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Our integrated care programme and specialist team for older people are beginning to adopt the standardised assessment. Throughout the country, we will be able to have an assurance that when people are identified as having care needs, their allocation will be based on that assessed need. That will be important in making sure the right people are getting the care they need.

I agree with the Deputy's point about timing. It is important that when people are identified as having particular care needs, the timing matches their lives and is not based on what the system can tell them they can have. It has to be more about putting the person at the centre rather than the workforce issue. We accept we need to get to that place.


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