Press Release: Minister for Health welcomes publication of two reports to inform health sector adult safeguarding policy

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, today emphasised the importance of safeguarding adults at risk of abuse and harm and welcomed the publication of two important reports on adult safeguarding providing the views of key adult health service users and a comprehensive international evidence review.

Both publications were commissioned by the Department of Health to inform its ongoing development of a national policy on adult safeguarding in the health and social care sector. They will ensure that the policy will have an up-to-date evidence base and that it will be informed by the voices of relevant service users.

Launching the reports, Minister Donnelly confirmed his Department’s commitment to bringing forward a draft policy on adult safeguarding in the health sector. This policy will build on the existing health sector framework of standards, policies and procedures for adult safeguarding which includes national adult safeguarding standards developed by HIQA and the Mental Health Commission and a range of HSE supports including a HSE National Safeguarding Office.

Minister Donnelly stated: “I am delighted to launch these important research papers on adult safeguarding today. Due to the efforts of those involved in producing this research, the new national policy on adult safeguarding in the health and social care sector, which my Department is developing, will have a robust evidence base and will be informed by the voices of our service users.

“I am grateful to the Institute of Public Health for conducting the focus groups on my Department’s behalf with service users in a number of groups, including people with intellectual disabilities, people with cognitive impairments (dementia and acquired brain injury), people who have experienced significant mental health challenges, and residents of nursing homes. I am particularly grateful to the participants for sharing their time and opinions. For good public services it is essential to listen and take account of our service users’ lived experiences and views. The evidence review will be a valuable resource to ensure the policy is based on comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date evidence.

“This time of national challenge shows the fundamental importance of being a community of people who take care of those who may be at risk of harm or abuse.”

The reports can be accessed here.

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