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MOH to introduce guidelines on care for seniors

The public can offer their views and feedback on the two sets of guidelines for home care services and centre-based care services for seniors between Sep 2 and Oct 2 this year, says the Ministry of Health.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is planning to introduce a set of guidelines each for home care services and centre-based care services for seniors, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of care in the intermediate and long-term care sector.

The ministry said in a release that these two sources of care play critical roles in helping seniors age more comfortably within their own communities.

"Home care supports seniors to age at home by providing health and personal care services at the convenience of their homes, while centres provide a convenient venue in the community where seniors can have access to a range of health, social and personal care services during the day," it stated.

MOH had convened two committees comprising home care providers, healthcare professionals and policy experts to draft a set of guidelines for each sector. The guidelines are intended to be developmental in nature, and serve as a basis for training and capability enhancement programmes for providers of home and community care.

Specifically, the guidelines describe what constitutes good quality care, the dignity afforded to seniors and the organisational systems and management processes of healthcare providers, it added.

For example, they emphasise that seniors should be protected against abuse, and their safety should be supported by an effective incident management and reporting system. They also seek to ensure that home care providers have enough staff and that they are qualified to deliver safe and satisfactory care.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) will be developing an interpretation guidebook to explain the intent of the guidelines and provide sample tools and checklists. AIC will also develop training roadmaps and curricula to help service providers build up their capabilities in the areas articulated in the guidelines, MOH said.

Ms Pang Sze Yunn, assistant general manager for home care services at NTUC Eldercare, said: "It is good that we will have a road map, then we can compare what we already have against the ministry's expectations, in areas that we have not met the standards, so that we can do better.

“Training is probably the most important element. And over the last few years, we already have a comprehensive training curriculum that takes a caregiver from the core skills to areas such as ethics. All our caregivers are required to go through the curriculum before they can start work." 

MOH will launch a public consultation from Sep 2 to Oct 2, 2014 to gather views and feedback on both sets of guidelines. Members of the public can email their feedback to MOH_CareGuidelines@moh.gov.sg or post it to the following address:

“Feedback on Home Care and Centre Care Guidelines”
Ministry of Health
College of Medicine Building
16 College Road
Singapore 169854

MOH said it is targeting to finalise the guidelines by end-2014, after gathering feedback during public and industry consultations.

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