Parliamentary Question for Kathleen Lynch TD
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 17th June 2014
To ask the Minister for Health the regulations and standards that apply in relation to home care and home support services; if private operators are subject to contracts for the provision of such services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Government for National Recovery, 2011-2016 commits to developing and implementing national standards for home support services, which will be subject to HIQA inspection. Primary legislation and resources will be required for the introduction of a statutory regulation system for home care services, and this will be progressed in the context of overall legislative and resource priorities.
I would like to emphasise, however that statutory regulation or licensing is only one way of improving quality and safety and the HSE is already progressing a range of measures to improve Home Care provision overall, to standardise services nationally and to promote quality, and safety. These include a Procurement Framework for Home Care Services with quality and screening requirements which came into effect in 2012 and applies to services procured by the HSE from external providers. The HSE is currently undertaking a review of home care services with a view to improving services generally.