Conference expected to hear call for homecare sector to be regulated

First national homecare conference will address issues relating to the sector

Geoffrey Shannon, the Law Society’s special rapporteur on child protection, will be one of the speakers at the homecare conference. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Geoffrey Shannon, the Law Society’s special rapporteur on child protection, will be one of the speakers at the homecare conference. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 01:00


Ireland’s first national homecare conference will hear calls for the sector to be put under statutory regulation.

The conference next Friday and Saturday at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin will have a number of high-profile speakers, including the director general of the HSE, Tony O’Brien, and the Law Society’s special rapporteur on child protection, Geoffrey Shannon.

In January 2012, the Law Reform Commission recommended that the Health Information Quality Authority should be given regulatory powers to monitor homecare. However, no statutory regulations have been brought in yet for the sector.

Myhomecare chief executive Declan Murphy said regulations were necessary “to ensure that care is being delivered to a standard and which also protects the safety and integrity of those delivering this care”.

John Sweeney, a director of Health Care Informed, said the sector should put its own house in order in advance of statutory regulation. “Here in Ireland, we are going to see standardised quality systems being demanded by payers, both the HSE and private health insurers. But the question is, if homecare providers truly believe in their core message of delivering quality care, why isn’t the sector driving the implementation of standards itself? If they practise what they preach, why aren’t they doing it?”

This inaugural event is expected to provide policymakers, care professionals, service providers and carers with a clear picture of the current state of homecare in Ireland.

The first session will examine the sector in Ireland and Europe to develop a plan for the evolution of homecare here.

The second session will address issues relevant to care professionals and will focus on the management of clinical scenarios common to this patient population.