Newsletter November 2012
Issued on November 14 2012
DFI welcomes and acknowledges the significance of the publication of the NESC report on quality and standards in disability services in Ireland this month.
The Report reviews existing regulation and quality processes in Ireland”s disability services, drawing on interviews with a range of stakeholders. At the launch, Dr Jeanne Moore, the main author of the report, outlined that “there is a need for a re-balancing of the regulatory system so that it includes formal regulations and inspections to safeguard vulnerable people, but also builds on and strengthens the active search for continuous improvement demonstrated by many service providers'.
DFI has been providing on-going commentary to the drafting process of this report through its work as a member of the Community and Voluntary Pillar and was encouraged by NESC”s identification of this topic as one needing further exploration.
The report recognises current good practice but argues that this needs to be built upon and complemented. The report also suggests that there is much work left to be done to ensure that there are effective quality systems within organisations. In particular, there are improvements needed in incorporating the views of people with disabilities on their understanding of what quality means, real involvement of people in quality systems and regulation, and in terms of increasing people”s expectations of reaching their personal outcomes. The report makes a number of recommendations which are useful in providing a platform for future directions in policy development, in particular the proposal to establish a“Quality Forum”, that would connect the work of HIQA, the HSE, voluntary providers, service users and families. Such a forum would support the sharing of good practice in relation to quality assurance, focus on continuous improvement, inclusion, and on outcomes for people with disabilities.
Developing and measuring outcomes for people with disabilities who receive person centred supports in these ways that support choice, independence, autonomy is more challenging and requires a focus when developing a coherent and integrated set of outcome measures for disability services and policy.
As clearly stated in the report, people with disabilities must be instrumentally involved in the identification and development of good quality services. Enhancing people”s input can be achieved partly by building on features that are already there, such as the organisations that are driven and led by people with disabilities and initiatives such as DFI”s project to increase participation by people with disabilities and their organisations in local planning and decision-making fora.
The Report can be accessed at the following address: http://www.nesc.ie/en/publications/publications/nesc-reports/quality-and-standards-in-human-services-in-ireland-disabililty-services/ . Further information on the Report can be found inside this newsletter.
Chief Executive Officer