Regulation needed, says carers leader
RTE EXPOSES HOME CARE SCANDAL
A WEXFORD MAN heading a group representing 50 private home care providers to elderly people across the country has said it agrees with the central conclusion of Monday night's Primetime Investigates programme following a four-month undercover investigation which found evidence of appalling standards by a number of homecare providers.
Wexford man Ed Murphy, President of the Home Care Association, said it has been calling for such regulation for many years and emphasised that none of its members were the subject of the programme.
'We have been calling for statutory regulation for many years and agree with the central conclusion of the programme that this is badly needed,' said Mr Murphy.
'It's only normal that something like this is going to happen when there's no regulation in place,' he said.
Mr Murphy said all HCA members have undergone 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 per cent 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,' said Mr Murphy.
The Health Service Executive said it is to review standards of care provided to 65,000 older people who are looked after in their own homes. The HSE said it was ' taking seriously' allegations that a number of private providers were failing to meet even basic standards in the provision of care. Minister of State for older people Áine Brady said it was clear the behaviour and practices highlighted in the programme constituted a breach of trust 'in an unacceptable way'.