Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to immediately review an excessively restrictive provision in HSE Homecare Day Hours support system that has been described by Jack & Jill CEO Hugo Jellett as one that makes “virtual prisoners of parents in their own home.” Deputy McGrath was speaking at the launch of the Jack & Jill service evaluation report from Coventry University and Trinity College at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland:
“What this service evaluation makes absolutely clear is that the HSE ‘loco parentis’ rule is having a disproportionate and damaging impact on the families of the sickest children in this state.
Under this rule, parents must remain in the house at all times when the agency nurse is there providing care. This makes it impossible for them to take the space necessary to get on with other vital aspects of their family life.
It must not only be reviewed by the HSE, but they must also immediately work to adopt the significantly more adaptable and family friendly model of care offered by Jack & Jill for example.
In County Tipperary alone for example, 51 families of seriously ill children have been helped by the Foundation to date.
I was also delighted to hear that Jack &Jill is to extend the age range of children supported by the charity. This age extension, announced by Jack & Jill CEO Hugo Jellett, is effective immediately and broadens the charity service from supporting children from birth to 4 years of age, to supporting children from birth to 5 years of age.
This is amazing news.
What is bitterly disappointing however is that the HSE refused to participate in the funding of this extension, and it was only made possible by new investors from the private corporate sector.
This alone points to an extraordinary deficit in the care approach being adopted by the HSE.
It is my sincere hope that Minister Harris will look at the work of the Jack & Jill Foundation, recognise the exemplary care they provide and the value for money that is achieved and review the absurd loco paretis rule that is doing so much to stifle the freedom of families who are already exhausted from their care duties,” concluded Deputy McGrath TD.