December 2010: HCA President responds to

Prime Time Investigates Programme

MONDAY 13th DECEMBER 2010 - 22:30


Following tonight's Prime Time Investigates programme, Home Care Association (HCA) would wish to point out that none of its members were the subject of the programme and that the Association operates a programme of external audits for its members to help ensure high standards.

Ed Murphy, President of the HCA said that we have been calling for statutory regulation for many years and agree with the central conclusion of the programme that this is badly needed. All HCA members have underwent an audit which was independently assessed by a specialist UK Inspector to ensure the highest standards are being are being adhered to. Although our association regulates our members, such a system will never be as rigorous as statutory regulation with independent HIQA monitoring

It is very important to recognise that 90% of care provision is provided by the HSE themselves and voluntary organisations funded by the HSE. None of this care is inspected or audited independently at present.

However, whilst recognising the current position, the HCA welcomes the fact that the HSE is in the process of carrying out a home care tender designed to ensure compliance with a set of minimum standards for people who receive HSE Home Care Packages. This however only covers 4,500 older people and not 54,000 people who receive home help or the thousands of people who employ private carers. It was important to remember that 90% of elder abuse occurs within the community, so it is vital that we have adequate protection for older people being cared for at home and HIQA regulation can accomplish this. Murphy stated that independent inspections and care standards for professional home carers should be introduced to help protect against abuse and mistreatment.

About the HCA

Representing 28 members across Ireland, Home Care Assiciation (HCA) is the trade association representing professional home care providers in Ireland, who directly employ, train, Garda vet, supervise and insure caregivers so as to provide a quality service to clients.