Government Press Statement on Quality and Standards in Human Services in Ireland: Disability Services a report by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC)


The Government welcomes the publication of NESC's report Quality and Standards in Human Services in Ireland: Disability Services. It sees it as complementary to the recent Value for Money and Policy Review for Disability Services from the Department of Health. This NESC report identifies key elements of quality disability services including the use of standards and formal regulation, a focus on continuous improvement, the sharing of good practice, service user involvement, cost-effectiveness and good governance.

However, the report also shows that standards and quality for disability services are being pursued by a range of actors including state, private, voluntary and community organisations and by means of a range of overlapping approaches to quality. It shows that there are several routes to quality and that while formal regulation is important, there are other important parts to an effective quality system such as networking, shared learning, monitoring of data and setting plans for service outcomes, many of which are already evident in disability services.

The report shows how there are many cost-effective drivers of quality that improve disability services, many of which do not require additional resources, but rather involve a change of culture towards better performance, measuring and monitoring outcomes, devolving responsibility and service user involvement.

This report is one of a series of NESC reports that examines the issue of how Ireland might obtain greater quality from various human or public services. The first report in the series, Quality and Standards in Human Services in Ireland: Overview of Concepts and Practice, was published in late 2011.