Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Health
253. To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 1924 of 11 September 2023, the date at which an implementation plan for the 16 recommendations from the report of the strategic workforce advisory group on home carers and nursing home healthcare assistants will be published; the reason for the delay; the status of all 16 recommendations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50516/23]
The cross-departmental Strategic Workforce Advisory Group was established by the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, in March 2022. The Group was charged with examining strategic workforce challenges in publicly and privately provided front-line carer roles in home support and nursing homes and with making recommendations to address these.
The Group was chaired by the Department of Health and comprised representatives from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Department of Health; Department of Higher and Further Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Department of Justice; Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Department of Social Protection; the Health Service Executive (HSE); the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), and SOLAS.
Providing an overview of the work of the Group and its key findings, the Report of the Strategic Workforce Advisory Group on Home Carers and Nursing Home Health Care Assistants presented a suite of 16 recommendations spanning the areas of areas of recruitment, pay and conditions of employment, barriers to employment, training and professional development, sectoral reform, and monitoring and implementation.
Implementation of the 16 recommendations is being overseen by a cross departmental Implementation Group, chaired by the Department of Health which meets quarterly. Membership of the group includes Department of Health; the Health Service Executive; Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Department of Social Protection; and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
Implementation is underway with Recommendation 9 fully implemented (which resulted in 1,000 employment permits for non-EEA homecare workers), and 3, 5, 6 and 16 are at an advanced stage. My Department is engaging with recommendation owners to progress the implementation of all the recommendations.
To date two meetings have been held by the Implementation Group on 29thJune 2023 and 12thOctober 2023. Implementation details including the Terms of Reference, the minutes of these meetings, a schedule of future meetings, and a progress report on the 16 recommendations have been published and are available at the link below:
gov.ie - Strategic Workforce Advisory Group on Home Carers and Nursing Home Healthcare Assistants - Implementation (www.gov.ie)