The HSE is considering undertaking a healthcare audit regarding the implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, this newspaper understands.
The issue was raised at a meeting of the HSE safety and quality committee in February.
“The committee requires a periodic briefing on the work of [the] healthcare audit unit of the internal audit division,” a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent.
“This assists the committee to monitor the implementation of the healthcare audit plan; review significant findings and recommendations; and monitor actions taken by management.”
The spokesperson said that “due to recent legislative changes, the committee considers that it is timely to consider audits with regards to implementation of the Assisted Decision-Making Act. The HSE internal audit division is considering this area as part of its ongoing audit planning.”
Last month, the charity Safeguarding Ireland published the findings of a survey that showed 67 per cent of adults had not heard of the new legislation.
The finding prompted Safeguarding Ireland to call for a major public information drive on understanding and applying the law, which came into effect in April.
The law was “one of the most significant new bodies of social legislation in Ireland for many years” and was designed to uphold people’s rights and reduce adult abuse, according to Safeguarding Ireland.
Safeguarding Ireland Chairperson Ms Patricia Rickard-Clarke encouraged every person, professional, and organisation to become familiar with the law and to apply it.
“The Act is of particular importance for people who have challenges with decision-making, such as those living with frailty, dementia, an intellectual disability, an acquired brain injury, or mental illness. But it may be important to all of us at certain times in our lives.”