To ask the Minister for Health if he will indicate a timetable for an implementation plan for the national neurorehabilitation strategy which was developed by his Department.
– Seán Kyne T.D.
The Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have developed and
published the “National Policy and Strategy for the provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011 – 2015”. In addition, the HSE is developing its Rehabilitation Medicine Programme within the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Directorate. The Report is the overarching policy on neuro-rehabilitation services and includes proposals for a framework for the future of neuro-rehabilitation services in Ireland, including key elements such as:
- guiding principles;
- implementation structure;
- methodology for implementation; and
- information and communication.
The Report recognises that given the current economic climate, the focus in the short to medium term has to be on re-configuration of services, structures and resources and the enhancement of the skills and competencies required to meet the changing context.
The key priority areas, as identified in the HSE’s National Operational Plan for 2013 are to:
- Map and develop Integrated Service Area level rehabilitation networks;
- Implement the model of care for rehabilitation services within the networks with a focus on community rehabilitation.
An implementation plan beyond the overall operational plan commitments would not be beneficial, as the work involved to progress networks and teams will require to be flexible and responsive to the areas identified and to their specific service profiles.
The Rehabilitation Medicine Programme has been working in collaboration with the National Disability Unit as part of an expert Working Group planning for the implementation of the Report. The Rehabilitation Medicine Programme has incorporated key elements of the Report into its own Model of Care and adopted the Strategy’s recommendation of “hub and spoke” model for specialist rehabilitation services and is keen to progress with a comprehensive model for the continuation of such service into the community. This co-operation will continue in 2013.