Written answers

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Department of Health

Proposed Legislation

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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1689. To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on plans to introduce statutory homecare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34926/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Enabling people with care needs to continue to live independently at home for as long as possible is a priority for the Government. To advance this, the Government is committed to establishing a new, statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support services, which the Department of Health is currently developing. It is envisaged that the new scheme will provide equitable access to high-quality services based on a person’s assessed care-needs.

Work is on-going within the Department to determine the optimal approach to the development of the new scheme within the broader context of the Sláintecarereforms. This work encompasses the development of the regulatory framework for the new scheme; the examination of the options for the financing model for the scheme; and the development of a reformed model of service-delivery. With the aim of ensuring that all service-users are provided with a standard, high-quality level of care which is safe, effective, and person-centred, it is envisaged that the regulatory framework will encompass primary legislation for the licensing of providers, minimum standards, and national quality standards.

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy and Action Plan 2021–2023commits to the advancement of the development of the new home-support scheme in 2021 and to the commencement of its implementation in 2022. Funding was secured in 2021 for the HSE to progress the roll-out of interRAI as the standard assessment tool for care-needs in the community; the pilot of a reformed model of service-delivery for home-support; and the establishment of a National Office for Home Support Services.

Mobilisation of the pilot of a reformed model of service-delivery is expected to commence in Q3, supported by the National Office. The pilot will deliver an additional 230,000 hours of home-support in four community healthcare network (CHN) sites over a six-month period. In addition, approximately 130 posts have been funded for the national rollout of the interRAI Ireland system, which the home-support pilot will test as the standard assessment tool for care-needs.

While the new home-support scheme is under development, the Government is prioritising improving access to home-support services. As part of Budget 2021, funding for an additional 5 million hours of home-support was provided. This increased investment will contribute to meeting the Programme for Governmentcommitment to providing equitable access to home-support services.


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