A National Conference was organised through the HSE National Quality Improvement Team on February 22nd, 2016 to create an awareness of the Act, its implications, challenges and opportunities for health and social care professionals. The conference was aimed at managers and staff who involved in planning, managing or delivering services to patients, service users or clients across health and social care settings. It brought together key Irish and UK experts to inform staff and managers about the legislation and to explore the impact this Act will have on current practice.
In May 2016, the HSE established a National Assisted Decision Making Steering Group to develop a programmatic response to the legislation to ensure effective compliance and implementation. One of the principle roles of this steering group is to develop documentation and guidance for health and social care providers in relation to the implementation of the Assisted Decision Making Act.
To support this, the steering group established two working groups:
- The Guidance and Documentation Working Group has been set up to develop national guidelines for the HSE and HSE funded agencies on the Act.
- The Training and Communications Working Group will develop a programme to support staff and services to use the Act in their everyday services and ensure that all key stakeholders are made aware of the HSE ADM National Implementation Programme and will facilitate meaningful engagement with internal and external stakeholders on the core elements of the programme.
The HSE Assisted Decision Making (ADM) Steering Group has been invited by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, T.D., to act as the Advanced Healthcare Directive Multidisciplinary Working Group under the Act. The role of the group, as directed by the Minister for Health, will be to prepare a detailed series of recommendations for the Director of the Decision Support Service in relation to the interpretation and operation of the AHD provisions contained in the Act. Three Codes of Practice on Advance Healthcare Directives were drafted - one for Health and Social Care Professionals, one on how to make an Advance Healthcare Directive, and one for Designated Healthcare Representatives - and these have been submitted to the Director of the Decision Support Service for Consideration.
The Steering Group have also drafted an overarching Code of Practice on the Act for Health and Social Care Professionals for consideration by the Director of the Decision Support Service.
Once the final Codes of Practice have been published, the HSE ADM and Consent Office will develop practice guides on all of the relevant Codes of Practice, with the support of the steering group and the working groups.