Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, raised the valuable contribution of KARE in Kildare with Minister Simon Harris in the Dail this week. They were speaking around the report of the independent review group who examined the role of voluntary organisations in the health sector. The report which was published last February contained 24 recommendations and applies to voluntary organisations such as KARE in Co. Kildare.

“Having recently attended the KARE AGM I was struck by many of the personal stories of service users from KARE, the great service provided by the organisation as well as the needs for the future that we can plan for.
“A desire for the option to live independently was raised by many service users and their families. A system of multi annual funding and planning for such funding would be required to allow for the provision of independent living. The issue of multi annual funding was one of the recommendations of the independent review group into voluntary organisations which I raised with Minister Harris this week.
“How we manage the transition for service users leaving special schools into the adult system was another area recognised as requiring more planning. Stronger engagement between the Department, the HSE and organisations such as KARE which is also recommended in the report would I believe, help to address issues such as this transition at an earlier stage.

“Minister Harris agreed with me and recognised the valuable contribution organisations like KARE make around the Country. He said that they were an integral part of the health system, in many cases down through the years they had provided services where the state had not.

“He welcomed the report and its recommendations and saw it as a means to improve and strengthen the relationship between the state and such voluntary providers into the future given their crucial role in the provision of health and social care services and the mutual benefits to be gained from a stronger relationship.
“The Minister noted that many of the recommendations from this report mirror that of the Slaintecare Implementation Strategy which puts great emphasis on delivering care in the community close to where people live, which is recognised as one of the strengths of voluntary organisations such as KARE.

“Now more than ever our health system and its users need the valuable services provided by local organisations such as KARE which have become part of our communities and I also welcome this report as a means of strengthening their position within our publicly funded health system.