MOH sets guidelines to ensure quality care for the elderly

SINGAPORE - New guidelines for home and daycare services were introduced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday, to help service providers work towards delivering quality care for the elderly.

They spell out the expected outcomes in four areas: the provision of holistic care services that are coordinated and comprehensive; the safety and quality of care; "informed and enabling care" such that beneficiaries and caregivers have autonomy in care decisions; and organisational excellence.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: "Even as we grow capacity in these (daycare and homecare) sectors, we feel that it's important to have a common vision of what good quality means... We want to use these guidelines as a benchmark."

She was speaking yesterday at the official opening of St Andrew's Community Hospital's (SACH) new senior daycare centre, Joy Connect, in Kampong Glam.

The two sets of guidelines - each over 40 pages long - were developed by two industry-led work groups, each comprising service providers, healthcare professionals and policy experts.

Last year, MOH consulted service providers, the elderly and caregivers on the proposed guidelines before finalising them.

MOH and the Agency for Integrated Care will be introducing a suite of programmes to support the daycare and homecare sectors in achieving these guidelines.

These include implementation guides that give examples of activities and processes that can help achieve the desired outcomes.

Deputy director of community programmes at SACH Mina Lim said that the guidelines are helpful and detailed, citing one which reminds service providers to have transport staff who are adequately trained to move clients safely.

"Clear guidelines help us to operate in a manner that is of high standard, and clients can enjoy better quality of service," she said.

This article was first published on April 26, 2015.
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