December 2009: IPHCA welcomes the publication

of the Department of Health and Children / PA

Consulting report into the evaluation of

Home Care Packages


HOME CARE PACKAGE REPORT SHOWS POOR MANAGEMENT BY THE HSE AND CALLS FOR REGULATION OF SECTOR


Irish Private Home Care Association, today (3rd December 2009) welcomed the publication of the Department of Health and Children / PA Consulting report into the evaluation of Home Care Packages.


Ed Murphy, president of the IPHCA says, This report shows that the positive impact that the home care package scheme has in helping older people remain at home rather than in hospital or nursing homes. This scheme was moderately successful despite the haphazard implementation by the HSE. The report found that guidelines approved with the Department of Health and Children were not adhered to by the HSE.


Continuing Murphy stated 'The bigger picture here is that the home care package scheme and the home help service operates without any regulation or quality guidelines whatsoever. The Government spends €330m on home care for over 70,000 vulnerable people and doesn't seem to care about basic quality. They don't care whether a carer has a Garda clearance, training or is adequately supervised. The HSE has drafted a set of voluntary Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support, agreed to by the private sector, the home help service and older person advocacy groups but they have sat on them for the last 15 months. IPHCA is calling on the Minister to direct the HSE to immediately institute this voluntary code in the absence of statutory regulation that the department is currently working on.'


Because of the many different ways that the HSE provided Home Care Packages around the country, the first main recommendation of the report is that there is a standardised procurement of services, assessment, delivery, review and reporting provision across the HSE.


Due to the fact that there is no national collection of data on the home care package implementation and management, the second main recommendation is that monthly comprehensive management information must be compiled for Home Care Package's, in particular financial data, without which the scheme cannot be managed robustly. This recommendation is also for the HSE to have a national approach to procurement and a value for money assessment of Home Care Package delivery. The report asks that implementation of these recommendations should be linked to the allocation of 2010 funding and so should be implemented from the start of 2010.


In 2006, there were 468,000 people age 65 and older in Ireland. Of this 113,000 were in the very old category of 80 years and over. Over the next three decades, that number is expected to more than double reaching almost 1.15m, or over 20% of the population age 65 and over, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.


About IPHCA



Irish Private Home Care Association is the trade association representing private home care providers in Ireland. Just a few years ago, the only option available if you needed elder home care was to rely on family or friends for assistance. If this option was not available nursing homes were the only choice. Developments in elder care recognise the wishes of older people who want the benefits of assisted living, but don't want to move out of their home.


Irish Private Home Care Association represents quality providers of home care. Our members directly employ, train, background check, supervise and insure caregivers so as to provide a quality service to clients.