Safeguarding Ireland has called for one integrated system – underpinned by national standards – for all long-term care in Ireland, in response to the Expert Panel Nursing Homes report. Safeguarding Ireland expressed overall support for the recent COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel report’s recommendations, but said that the strength of the report will only lie in its timely implementation.
Chairperson Patricia Rickard-Clarke said key safeguarding elements to progress as recommended in the report include that identified parts of the Assisted Decision-Making Act be fast-tracked and implemented within six months and that wider implementation of Advance Healthcare Directives be applied immediately to greatly improve planning ahead. “Safeguarding Ireland strongly supports the recommendations that all private nursing homes be integrated into a national public health and social care framework and that national standards be developed and rolled out across all services within nine months.”
Safeguarding Ireland made a submission to the Expert Panel report in which it called for an integrated system with overarching standards for all long-term care, both public and private sector. Ms. Rickard-Clarke said the report highlighted the need for urgent progress on safeguarding legislation. “We need full implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making Capacity Act 2015 and to urgently enact and implement Adult Safeguarding Legislation.
Safeguarding Ireland also called for staff training in the National Standards for Adult Safeguarding and implementation of the Guidance on a Human Rights-based Approach in Health and Social Care Services so that the voice of the person is central to all decisions about their care. Furthermore, independent advocacy should be made available for all people in long-term care.
Safeguarding Ireland added that that the many options for long-term care that lie in between being independent at home or in full-time care should be expanded and also subject to national assessment and care standards including: Home Share, Split Housing, Boarding Out, Supportive Housing, Retirement Villages, Older Persons’ Co-Housing Communities and progressive housing models which support Long Term Residential Care.
Safeguarding Ireland also recently made a submission to the Oireachtas Special Committee on COVID-19 Response in which it set out its recommendations on long-term care and these included:
- There should be one statutory funded and integrated system for all long-term care across the whole care continuum, from home-care to long-term residential care
- A range of long-term care options should be available for all older people as they become dependent
- Immediately enact Protection of Liberty Safeguards to ensure a person’s right to autonomy is respected in relation to Place of Care.
- Safeguarding means living safely, free from abuse of neglect. It means our choices, particularly if we are vulnerable, are clearly heard and respected. Full details of both submissions are available at www.safeguardingireland.org.