Friday, 16 July 2021
Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
Mary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail)
I thank the Senator for her interaction and positive approach. I know exactly the point she is trying to make. A key principle of safeguarding is that it is everybody's business and all healthcare professionals have key roles in the prevention and reporting of abuse. However, the essential role of social workers in safeguarding is recognised. The specialised safeguarding and protection teams in each of the nine community healthcare organisation areas are managed and led by principal social workers and staffed by social work team leaders with professionally qualified social workers. These teams provide a range of safeguarding functions from direct case management to quality assurance, as well as oversight and support to all service providers, including those funded by the HSE.
Community support teams, as recommended by the nursing home expert panel, will be implemented across each community healthcare organisation and each of these teams will have access to dedicated social worker resources through enhancements of existing community safeguarding teams. As I mentioned, I will be working closely with the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, on the safeguarding Bill. The Department is at an advanced stage in developing its national adult safeguarding policy for the health and social care sector. I have no doubt we can continue this conversation at that point.