The HSE had a large body of educational information and tools to help with the new Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, Caoimhe Gleeson, HSE General Manager, HSE National Office for Human Rights and Equality Policy, told the HMI East seminar.
She said the mission of her Office was to build skills, knowledge and confidence of staff, achieve HSE compliance with Human Rights legislation, develop and promote HSE Human Rights and Equality Policy and influence legislative and organisational change, to ensure that the human rights and dignity of each person using HSE services was respected.
Their programmes of work covered the HSE National Consent Policy, universal access for People with Disabilities, Public Sector Duty and the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.
In relation to the new Act, the functions of her Office included, promoting awareness and confidence in the new statutory framework, regulating and supervising the new arrangements and promoting organisational change.
The emphasis in the HSE National Consent Policy was on the importance of the will and preference of a person who might lack capacity to align with guiding principles of the 2015 Act.
She said the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act was an Act to provide for the reform of the law relating to persons who required or might require assistance in exercising their decision-making, whether immediately, or in the future.
It involved supporting someone to make a decision, how and when to engage with the Decision Support Service, positive risk-taking and ‘unwise’ decisions, the functional Assessment of Capacity and respecting the rights of the person and the role of families under the Act.
Her office had E learning guidance on the Act. Modules covered Guiding Principles of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, Working with Decision Supporters under the Act and Advance Healthcare Directives.
In the area of supporting decision-making in health and social care services, they had modules on supporting a person to make decisions, supporting a person to plan for the future, an introduction to the functional assessment of capacity and the HSE National Consent Policy.
Fourteen Codes of Practice were also available. Areas covered included, supporting decision-making and assessing capacity, advance healthcare directives, decision supporters and finance and legal professionals.
In the area of The HSE National Consent E Learning Policy, they had modules on General Principles and Children and Young People.
Ms. Gleeson said the purpose of the HSE ADM Transitional Oversight Group was:
- To provide advice and guidance on operational issues arising from implementation of the Act.
- To consider potential areas of risk which were notified to the group, which may be escalated.
- To develop a streamlined and unitary process to escalate any matters of significance to the COO, the CCO, the Decision Support Service, DCEDIY, DOH and DOJ.
- To raise operational matters of relevance on ADM implementation and ensure agreed actions and decisions were disseminated to the relevant sectors of the HSE, where appropriate.
- To provide guidance that supported and enabled compliance with the wardship transition.
Meeting of local ADM leads in CHO areas Hospital Groups/Section 38 organisations were held fortnightly.