Posts Tagged ‘HSE’

Eilish O Regan – You are so so right! Well Done!!

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Have families who rely on disability services been used as pawns? Why were they forced to take to the streets across the country yesterday , disrupting their already highly stressed lives caring for people with a disability to protest about cuts in frontline services?

Behind the scenes was a carefully orchestrated public relations battle between private companies, hired by the voluntary bodies, and government spokesmen.

On the face of it, people with a disability and their families are victims of years of inertia on the part of the Department of Health, health boards and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to ensure the vast sums paid to disability organisations are properly accounted for .

The 40-plus voluntary bodies, which received over €1bn to provide disability services this year, are failing to show proper financial transparency and have highly paid executives on their staff as well as outdated management structures.

Health authorities here have been content to hand over taxpayers’ money to these organisations for years without tackling inefficiencies that have now come to a head due to the cuts imposed this year.

The response of the Brothers in Charity was to warn that respite and other services might have to be cut while the Sisters of Charity is to impose similar reductions in service in Dublin.

Yet we know little of how these organisations are run, the level of salaries paid and what efforts have been made to follow up on a highly critical report by the Comptroller and Auditor General four years ago which called for a massive overhaul of this whole area.

It found that one leading provider of disability services got €288m in health funding without furnishing any audited accounts.

Despite this lack of transparency, the health service imposed no sanction and did not alter its level of funding.

The investigation by the taxpayers’ watchdog found poor controls generally over non-profit organisations providing services to people with a physical or mental disability.

A spokesman for the St John of God organisation at the time confirmed it was the unnamed organisation referred to in the report. It said pressure on resources meant the emphasis was put on hiring frontline workers rather than adminstrative staff. It later produced audited accounts.

The report showed that, in one year, the bodies received €877m in funding to care for 65,000 people with a physical or mental disability. Yet, in many cases, financial reporting norms were not being followed.

In one year, 25 organisations got more than €10m; another 75 got between €1m and €10m; while another 683 grants, averaging €100,000, were distributed to smaller bodies.

In 12 of the 42 cases examined, financial statements for 2003 were not on file, although the bodies concerned received €100m in funding.

Checks of annual financial statements varied. It was noted that spending on headquarter costs and overheads was not generally reported.

And remuneration packages of executives and management of non-profit organisations were not generally disclosed.

Junior Health Minister John Moloney was yesterday talking about the need for backroom savings in areas like transport services and procurement where voluntary bodies could band together to get greater value for money.

There are other key issues that need to be tackled, such as the quality of service provided by several of the voluntary organisations, and anecdotal accounts of families being afraid to question what they were receiving for fear of losing out.

There is now talk of sending auditors in to examine the accounts for these organisations in advance of the Budget.

The run up to the Budget gives both sides time to do a overdue root and branch overhaul.

– Eilish O’Regan

Irish Independent Thursday July 8th

Poor and Unregulated Care Services for Elderly! Be Afraid-Be Very Afraid!

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

HSE could save up to €80million on home care services, allowing 16,500 more seniors to avail of quality home care
Private sector is higher quality and 29% less expensive
No regulation of home care services for 60,000 seniors

A major new report into Ireland home care market has found that the current service provided by the HSE for the care of Ireland elderly population, suffers from large scale inefficiencies and a complete absence of regulation. This first independent analysis of the Irish home care services found that an additional 16,500 seniors could be cared for using the €80 million that can be saved if the findings of the report were implemented.

Conducted by PA Consulting on behalf of the Irish Private Home Care Association (IPHCA), the report reveals that the HSE spends €340.27 million on the provision of home care services. Of this entire HSE spend on home care, the report revealed that private home care companies provide just 4% of these services. By switching from public to private home care providers the HSE could save €79.83million. This is because, the report found, that the private sector is 29% cheaper than the public sector as the hourly cost by the public sector is €29.44, compared to €21.00 charged by private home care providers. These savings means that the HSE could offer home care services to an additional 16,500 seniors.

The report further outlined how Ireland’s home care market is completely unregulated. Despite the development of draft National Quality Guidelines for Home Care Support Services, they have never been implemented. This means that for many of the 60,000 seniors that are availing of home care, there are no monitoring to ensure they receive quality home care services. The report found that the nursing home sector, which caters for significantly smaller numbers than home care, is now fully regulated and the report stated that a clear risk of abuse was possible due to unsuitably qualified, vetted or monitored care givers. Additionally the report found that for those looking to avail of home care services, the absence of regulation and monitoring results in an unease and a lack of transparency when making a choice to purchase home care.

Speaking about the research findings, Ed Murphy, President of the Irish Private Home Care Association, said: “The report reveals a real need for the HSE to revisit its approach to the home care market. Not only do professional private home care providers offer a less expensive service, they provide quality home care as they adhere to a set of standards. Regulating the home care market is a matter of urgency, it is the only way to guarantee the quality of home care received by Ireland’s seniors. Based on population growth alone, the number of home care recipients may nearly double to 96,260 by 2021. This heightens the importance of getting conditions right for a regulated market due to the increasing demand that will be placed on Ireland’s home care market in the coming years”

Home care services include tasks such as with normal household tasks as well as meal preparation, transport and personal care. The report also found that home care is playing an increasingly vital role in Western health systems in shifting the balance of care from acute to the community sectors.♦

Physical and Sexual Abuse Complaints- Still Happening!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Fourteen allegations of sexual or physical abuse were made by residents of homes for the intellectually disabled over two years.

A HSE spokeman said care staff have been removed from duty and disciplinary action was taken following complaints.

There is no independent inspection of these residential facilities – in this day, given happenings in this country over a long period this is a National Disgrace. The Department of Health announced last December that independent inspection of these facilities would begin at the end of this year. This is completely unacceptable – has this Governmnet learnt nothing? The most vulnerable people in our population are not being adequately protected and this is another reason to vote out the present Government!

“Taking Control” – and so say all of us!

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

There is now a new appreciation from the Department of Health and Children, the HSE and voluntary service providers that the old way of doing things with its spiralling costs is no longer sustainable. An estimated 1.5 billion euro was spent on disability services in 2007, yet waiting lists for services continue to grow. The current system is expensive (80,000 euro is the HSE average cost for a residential place and 15,000 euro – 20,000 euro for a day place.) It is inflexible,the person or his/her family does not have much say in how the money is spent, or have a choice of service provider, and perhaps more importantly, the money is attached to the service not the person. For the first time in many years there is a real and growing interest in reforming how services for people with disabilities are delivered. A group of disability organisations called “Taking Control” which Inclusion Ireland is a part of, has been formed to campaign for individualised funding for people with disabilities.

Source: Inclusion Ireland Newsletter Dec 2009

Mr John Moloney T.D., Minister for Equality,Disability & Mental Health now investigating these matters

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Mr John Moloney, T.D., Minister for Equality, Disability & Mental Health in now investigating these matters – we thank you for your support

Meanwhile may I draw your attention to the fact that St Michaels House receive 84 million euro from the HSE every year – but would appear not to be accountable to anybody for how this enormous sum is spent. There is very little information available to the public as to where this money is actually spent. Furthermore it  would appear there are no mechanisms in place to determine  whether the money is being used in the most efficient manner possible.

HSE now behind our campaign re St Micheals House Special Needs School Skerries

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I spoke with Mt Pat Dunne Local Health Manager, Health Services Executive,Local Health Office,Dublin North, late last week and he has assured me he will do all within his power to help. Particularly he will be confirming when a second educational psychologist’s assessment can be obtained once a child has been determined to be at a certain level of retardation e.g Moderate or Severe. There is huge confusion within St Michaels House personnel over this matter – some staff say that a second assessment cannot be erntertained before a period of two years whilst other say 1 year and others saying 6 months. Mr Pat Dunne will seek to find the definitive answer to this.

Mr Pat Dunne was also very supportive about the new school building project and pledged his full support in this matter. Many thanks Pat for your endeavours and your encouragement- we really appreciate it!