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Minister Butler welcomes HIQA Evidence Review on the development of National Standards for Homecare

The Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, has today welcomed the publication of an Evidence Review by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA); “To inform the development of National Standards for Homecare and Support services in Ireland”. 


Minister Butler said: “The progression of the statutory home support scheme is one of my key priorities. It is another step forward towards the development of national standards for home support services in Ireland. 


“This evidence review makes a valuable contribution to the development of the new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support. It will further inform progress on the Sláintecare programme, which aims to support people to live in their own homes with dignity and independence, for as long as possible.” 


The Government is committed to establishing a new, statutory home-support scheme. The new scheme will provide equitable and transparent access to high-quality services for people based on their assessed care-needs. 


This work encompasses the development of the regulatory framework; the examination of the options for the financing model for the scheme; and the development of a reformed model of service-delivery for home-support services. With the aim of ensuring that all service-users are provided with a standard, high-quality level of care which is safe, effective, and person-centred, it is envisaged that the regulatory framework will comprise of:


  • Primary legislation for the licensing of public and private home-support providers 
  • Minimum requirements (Regulations) 
  • HIQA National Standards for Home Support Services 

In recent months a Cross-Departmental Strategic Workforce Advisory Group has been established to examine issues such as recruitment, retention, training, and the career development of front-line carers in home support and nursing homes into the future, so that solutions can be identified and implemented. It is also expected that pay and conditions for these workers will be examined. The Group will report to Minister Butler in September. 




Notes to Editors 

Last year, Government gave approval to draft a General Scheme and Heads of a Bill to establish a licensing framework for home-support providers. This is being progressed by the Department with a view of bringing it through the Houses of the Oireachtas at the earliest opportunity.  


The aim is to ensure that service-users are safe-guarded and protected, and a responsive, person-centred, quality-driven home-support service is provided. This is central to the Sláintecare objective of providing ‘right care, in the right place at the right time’.  


The Health Information and Quality Authority is an independent authority established to drive high-quality and safe care for people using our health and social care services in Ireland. 


HIQA’s mandate to date extends across a specified range of public, private and voluntary sector services. Reporting to the Minister for Health and engaging with the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Affairs, HIQA’s role is to develop standards, inspect and review health and social care services and support informed decisions on how services are delivered.