The Wheel Welcomes Report On Role of Voluntary Organisations in Health & Social Services

The Wheel, Ireland’s national association of charities, today welcomed the report of the independent review group established to examine the role of voluntary organisations in publicly funded health and personal social services. 

Commenting on the publication of the report, Ivan Cooper, Director of Public Policy at The Wheel said, “The Review Group’s recommendations provide a solid basis for a new, more inclusive, relationship between the State and voluntary organisations that provide health and social services.”

A key finding of the Group’s report is that voluntary organisations should continue to play an integral role in the delivery of health and social care services. Mr Cooper said, “The Review Group acknowledges the immense added value voluntary organisations contribute to our health and social services.”

In its report, the Group proposes a new charter between the State and the voluntary sector, to outline the key principles and a shared purpose around meeting people’s needs.  It also recommends the creation of a regular forum to involve all key actors, facilitate dialogue and to engage the voluntary sector in shaping health policy. 

Other recommendations relate to the funding and governance arrangements between voluntary service providers and the HSE. It also proposes that the State and voluntary service providers agree on a list of essential services to be publicly funded, with the full cost of these services agreed centrally. 

“The Wheel looks forward to engaging with the Department of Health to advance these recommendations, and to put the relationship between the voluntary sector, the State and other stakeholders on a firm and positive footing for the future,” said Mr Cooper.