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Package of health support for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes announced

The report was submitted and discussed in Cabinet yesterday.

Health Minister Simon Harris
Health Minister Simon Harris
Image: Sam Boal via

A PACKAGE OF health and well-being supports for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and related institutions has been announced by Health Minister Simon Harris.

The report was submitted and discussed in Cabinet yesterday. 

The package of supports will include the provision of additional counselling services to help support the needs of former residents, the introduction of a dedicated patient advocacy liaison service for former residents and the commencement of a targeted health research study. 

The measures being announced today are based on the recommendations of the inter-departmental working group.

Harris established the working group earlier this year to examine the recommendations from the Collaborative Forum for Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and Related Institutions.

In undertaking their assessment, the working group sought to adequately and appropriately consider the specific needs of former residents and provide a compassionate and holistic response to their health and well-being concerns. 

Taking account of the working group’s recommendations and in recognition of former residents’ mental health and specific need for psychological support, additional counselling supports will be provided next year as part of the National Counselling Service in the HSE.

A dedicated patient advocacy liaison service, which will act as a direct contact point of support for former residents, will also be established within the HSE.

Finally, arrangements will be made to commence a targeted programme of health research, which will include individual health assessments of former residents to inform the broader research study, the aim of which will be to contribute to health and well-being policy and improve the health outcomes of former residents.

“I am confident that the range of service supports now being provided will be of considerable benefit to former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and will directly assist, in a practical way, the individual health needs of former residents,” Harris said. 

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The Department of Health has said it will now engage with the HSE to ensure the effective implementation and timely provision of the agreed package of supports for the former residents next year. 

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