Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Department of Health
323. To ask the Minister for Health the status of the Adult Safeguarding Bill 2017; the work his officials are undertaking with regard to a regulatory framework to support such a Bill; when adult safeguarding and an independent advocacy service will be in place nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24924/19]
The Adult Safeguarding Bill 2017 is a Private Members Bill which passed Second Stage in the Seanad in April 2017.
Separately, following my recommendation on the need to develop a policy for the sector under my remit, the Government approved the development of a new national policy on adult safeguarding in the health sector and my Department is progressing this work. The development of a clear, coherent, carefully considered and implementable national sectorial policy for adult safeguarding is a complex undertaking which will involve consideration of a wide range of issues. These are likely to include, as appropriate, regulatory and advocacy issues. The policy development work, including stakeholder engagement will continue throughout 2019. I expect to circulate a draft policy for public consultation in 2020 with a view to submitting a final version of a policy to Government thereafter. The health sectorial policy will apply across the full spectrum of the Irish health and social care sector including all public, voluntary and private health and social care services, and will also address key interfaces between the health sector and other key sectors. Upon completion of the national adult safeguarding policy for the health sector, any underpinning legislation required to give full effect to the policy will be pursued as appropriate. It is important that clear and well developed principles and a policy are formulated in the first instance, to provide a solid foundation upon which legislation can be devised.