Dáil Éireann - Volume 415 - 29 January, 1992
Written Answers. - Home Help Services.
Mr. Gregory Mr. Gregory
362. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health if she will outline the duties, functions and responsibilities of the area voluntary committees for the home help services set up under the Health Act, 1970 particularly in the Eastern Health Board region.
Minister for Health (Mrs. O'Rourke) Mary O'Rourke
Minister for Health (Mrs. O'Rourke): Under section 61 of the Health Act, 1970, health boards may make arrangements to assist in the maintenance at home of persons who, but for the provision of such a service would require to be maintained otherwise than at home. This section empowers health boards to provide support services such as home help, laundry and meals.
The role of the voluntary committee in the home help service is to provide a service, on the health board's behalf, to those persons requiring care and assistance at home so that they can continue to live independently within the community. To this end, the committee act as the employer of the home help organiser(s) and the staff. The committee must also maintain an overview of the service within their area, ensuring that the service is effective, flexible and responsive to the needs of the community.
In addition to ensuring that a high quality service is provided, the committee must ensure that adequate systems of financial control exist for receipt and disbursement of funds, and that an annual audit of the committee's financial affairs is carried out.
As a voluntary group, the home help committee will normally delegate a number of their functions to the home help organiser, particularly in the area of payment of wages, assessment and collection of charges for the service, and day-to-day liaison with other community services. The committee, however, retain their responsibility for ensuring the quality and scope of the service through regular  consultation with the organising staff and the local statutory services.
Dáil Éireann 415 Written Answers. Home Help Services.