MS Ireland welcomes some elements of the service plan, including:
- Commitment to progress national clinical and integrated care programmes (page 7)
- Recognition of the importance of health research and some specific actions in this area, including designing a health research governance framework for all areas of research within the health service; completing a scoping exercise of current research activity, capabilities and infrastructure within the HSE to establish benchmarking for future planning and development; establishing channels of communication and collaborative mechanisms with key external and internal stakeholders on research and producing an HSE research and development plan (pages 17-18)
- Commitment to improve access, quality and efficiency of palliative care services and commence implementation of the model of care for palliative care services (p.32)
- Commitment to implement the Framework Agreement on the Supply and Pricing of Medicines 2016-2020, made with the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association in 2016, to try and ensure timely access to new and innovative medications at affordable prices
- Commitment to progress implementation of the National Policy and Strategy for the Provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015 and in particular to progress the demonstration project in CHO 6 and CHO 7 on the managed clinical network pathway.
- Provision of further respite care and support to persons with disabilities and their families through the provision of additional €10m funding
- Participation in development of cross-sectoral strategies, including the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015-2024
- The merging of home care packages and home help services into one funding model, to simplify the application process for this support and enhance service delivery.
- Provision of additional resources for home care services
However, MS Ireland is disappointed and concerned to note that:
- References to progressing the national clinical programmes makes no specific reference to the National Clinical Programme for Neurology Model of Care, although a number of other clinical programmes are listed as priority areas in 2018
- No specific actions are identified to progress the development of eHealth Ireland
- Page 29 states that the HSE will “Implement, within existing resources and on a phased basis, the recommendations from the reviews of the primary care physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy services, psychology service, dietetic model of care, GP out of hours service, primary care eye care services and civil registration”. MS Ireland is aware of significant deficits in resources in primary care therapy services, including very long waiting lists to access essential physiotherapy, and it is hard to see how any substantial improvements will be made without investment and increases in staffing levels
- Page 34 states that the HSE will “Collect the rebate of 5.25% or 5.5% as provided in the Framework Agreement” in relation to the funding of new medications. However, there is no explicit commitment to invest this rebate into funding for new and innovative medications
- References to developments and improvements in home care services are still located solely within older people’s services in the Service Plan. MS Ireland and other organisations have been continually advocating that these services are also vital to many people under the age of 65 with disabilities and long term illnesses such as MS.
MS Ireland will continue to work hard in 2018, in collaboration and partnership with the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, the Disability Federation of Ireland, the Medical Research Charities Group and other organisations who share our interests and priorities, to hold the HSE accountable for their commitments in the Service Plan and to address areas of unmet need.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or comments regarding MS Ireland’s advocacy work, please contact Harriet Doig at firstname.lastname@example.org
originally published 21st December 2017