NESC publishes Council Report 124: Quality and Standards in Human Services in Ireland: Overview of Concepts and Practice
NESC publishes the first of a new series of reports which review quality in our public services
High quality public services demand much more than minimum compliance with rules and regulations. For human services, such as eldercare and disability, we need to use regulation and standards that focus on performance and outcomes.
This is one of the key messages from the initial report in a series of reports on quality human services published today by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). The report is the first review of Irish human services of its kind. It examines international and Irish evidence of approaches to regulation and standards-setting in human services, and the promotion of good practice.
One strength of Ireland’s standards and quality improvement systems in some service areas is the range of bodies actively involved, from the public sector, the private sector and voluntary and community organisations. This is the direction other countries are seeking to get to and Ireland already has a head start.
‘In our research we have found that different human services, such as eldercare and policing, are trying a variety of ways to achieve high standards, and that everyone has a role to play in raising quality in our services’ said the report’s main author Helen Johnston. She continued, ‘the state has a role in providing the framework (regulation, standards, inspection, accountability, consultation); the service provider has a role in providing flexible, responsive, cost-efficient services tailored to individual needs; and the service user plays their part by voicing preferences, taking part in consultations and giving feedback’.
The series of reports on quality and standards in human services will include detailed reports on eldercare, end-of-life care, disability, schools and policing. A final synthesis report will be published, drawing together the main points and conclusions from the other reports. It is intended to publish the remainder of the reports in the coming months.
To download the report and the executive summary, visit the publications section of the website.
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Note to Editors
The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) was established in 1973. Its function is to analyse and report to the Taoiseach on strategic issues relating to the efficient development of the economy, the achievement of social justice and the development of a strategic framework for the conduct of relations and the negotiation of agreements between the government and the social partners. The Council is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach. It comprises representatives of trade unions, employer bodies, farm organisations, community and voluntary organisations, environmental organisations, key Government departments and has eight independent experts.