The public believes the HSE is not “doing enough” to promote the services of the Office of the Confidential Recipient for Vulnerable Persons and doubt it is an “independent means of someone placing concern”.
The findings were identified in an anonymous email survey of people who had used the Office of the Confidential Recipient during 2018 and 2019.
A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent: “The HSE is committed to ensuring that people who use our services are aware of the Office of the Confidential Recipient. The communications team have developed a plan in conjunction with the Confidential Recipient to increase the awareness, promotion and independence of the Office.”
“One component of this is the recent publication of the Annual Report 2019/ 2020 and video footage of the Confidential Recipient detailing her role and welcoming concerns within her remit to be notified to the Office.
“The HSE will continue to use a mixture of internal and external channels including traditional media (national and local) and social media channels to promote the Office of the Confidential Recipient.”
The Office was established in 2015 to receive concerns/ complaints about potential abuse, neglect or bad practice in care provided by the HSE or their providers in residential, day or home services.
The Office is funded by the HSE although it is “independent” in its functions
Some 320 concerns/complaints were received during 2019 and 2020, with 282 related to disability and older persons services. Some 201 of the 320 concerns/complaints related to care issues.
In the annual report, Confidential Recipient Ms Leigh Gath noted that thousands of people with disabilities were on waiting lists for services and supports.
“Many people who do receive a service and are contacting my office receive less than an hour a day support – to get out of bed, wash, dress, shower, be fed – and be put back to bed before 8pm – as services cost more later in the evening. These people are told when someone will come to them and have no choices in their lives.”