Dáil Éireann - Volume 591 - 28 October, 2004
Written Answers. - Health Board Staff.
Mr. R. Bruton Mr. R. Bruton
122. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if she has plans to develop a network of social workers dedicated to the care of older persons in the community, as a method of integrating the piecemeal provision of public health nurse, home help and other ser vices directed at the care of older persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26425/04]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: As the Deputy may be aware, the primary care strategy, Primary Care: A New Direction, proposes the delivery of a broad range of generalist services in the community by interdisciplinary primary care teams and primary care networks with a whole population approach. Patients will have direct access to general practitioners, nursing, health care assistants, home helps, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers, who will work together as a team to provide a patient-centred service in the local community. These services will be provided to the community as a whole, including older people.
There is evidence that health care professionals working together as a team within the primary care setting represents the most appropriate, effective and user-friendly approach to the organisation of services. The introduction of a multidisciplinary primary care team within a community can enable people to be maintained at home in times of crisis, reduce emergency admissions and shorten lengths of hospital stay. Primary care teams will establish appropriate linkages and relationships with existing specialist community teams, which will enable the team to act as a single and ongoing point of contact in accessing required specialist services.
Dáil Éireann 591 Written Answers. Health Board Staff.