Question to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Ms Kathleen Lynch, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the implementation plan for the national neurorehabilitation policy; the availability of specialist neurorehabilitation services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN ANSWER on Thursday, 13th June, 2013.
The aim of neuro-rehabilitation is to enable the person to achieve the highest possible level of independence. Desired outcomes range from a return to full independence in social and work situations to a person requiring long-term support and care but with a higher level of independence than in the absence of neuro-rehabilitation. Current services available include acute hospital services; the National Rehabilitation Hospital; multi-disciplinary community services; long-term assisted living supports; and rehabilitative training services. These services are provided directly by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and several non-statutory organisations.
The Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have developed and published the “National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011 – 2015”. In addition, the HSE is developing its Rehabilitation Medicine Programme within the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Directorate. The Report is the overarching policy on neuro-rehabilitation services and includes proposals for a framework for the future of neuro-rehabilitation services in Ireland, including key elements such as
- guiding principles;
- implementation structure;
- methodology for implementation; and
- information and communication.
The Report recognises that given the current economic climate, the focus in the short to medium term has to be on re-configuration of services, structures and resources and the enhancement of the skills and competencies required to meet the changing context.
The key priority areas, as identified in the HSE’s National Operational Plan for 2013 are to:
- Map and develop Integrated Service Area level rehabilitation networks;
- Implement the model of care for rehabilitation services within the networks with a focus on community rehabilitation.
The Rehabilitation Medicine Programme has been working in collaboration with the HSE’s National Disability Unit as part of an expert Working Group planning for the implementation of the Report. The Rehabilitation Medicine Programme has incorporated key elements of the Report into its own Model of Care and adopted the Strategy’s recommendation of “hub and spoke” model for specialist rehabilitation services and is keen to progress with a comprehensive model for the continuation of such service into the community. This co-operation will continue in 2013.