Minister McEntee welcomes opening of a Public Consultation on Home Care Services

Thursday, 6th July 2017

Former Minister for Older People urges Meath people to have their say

“I welcome the opening of a public consultation on home care services,
something which I had pressed for and worked for as the Minister for
Older People until the recent reshuffle. The consultation is being
carried out in order to help inform the development of a new statutory
scheme and system of regulation for home care services which I feel is
vitally important locally in Meath and nationally” stated Helen
McEntee, former Minister for Older People and the new Minister for
European Affairs.

Minister McEntee continued “The priority of Government is to ensure
that our older people get the best care possible. For many that is
long-term nursing home care, but for many others that care can be
provided in their own homes, surrounded by the people and communities
that they love. Unfortunately, as a country, the only statutory scheme
we have in place at present to care for our elderly is the Nursing
Homes Support Scheme, ‘a Fair Deal’. We in Fine Gael are determined to
change this and to establish a new statutory home care scheme which is
affordable and sustainable. We will also introduce a system of
regulation for home care so that the public can be confident that the
services provided are of a high standard and quality.  By doing this,
we will help to ensure that people can continue to live with
confidence, security and dignity in their own homes, for as long as
possible”.

“As Ministers Harris and Daly stated in launching this consultation,
home care is an increasingly important part of the supports we offer
to older people, and will continue to increase in importance into the
future, as our ageing population grows.  It is estimated that about
20% of the over 65 population receive some form of community-based
support service annually from the State.  We in Fine Gael are
committed to enabling more care in the community for older people and
others with identified care needs. We would like to find out what
people think about current home care services – what is working well
and what needs to be improved.  We also want to hear the public’s
views on what the future scheme should look like.  This will help us
to design a home care system that better meets the needs of service
users”.

The consultation paper launched today is particularly aimed at people
who use home care services, their families and the general public.
However, everyone with an interest, including: health and social care
providers; health and social care workers; advocacy groups; those
providing complementary services (such as meals-on-wheels and social
activities); and representative organisations is welcome to
participate.

The consultation paper is available online at
http://health.gov.ie/consultations and the closing date for
submissions is 31 August 2017.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The public consultation will take place over an eight-week period
ending 31 August.  Two versions of the consultation paper have been
launched simultaneously – a shorter, “Easy Read” version and a more
detailed version.

Submissions can be made by:

·        Completing the consultation online at
http://health.gov.ie/consultations;
·        Downloading the consultation paper and returning it by post
to the Department; or
·        Requesting a copy of the consultation paper from the
Department and returning it by post.

It is important to note that the consultation paper launched today is
just the start of a broader consultation process on home care.  The
Department will also be consulting by:

·        Meeting with individuals and groups so they can tell us
directly what they think;
·        Meeting with home care service provider organisations and
other organisations that represent people who use home care services
so they have the opportunity to put forward their views; and
·        Asking everyone with an interest in home care services to
tell us what they think of our plans when they are developed.

A report of the findings of this consultation process will be published.

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