Care Now In The Hands of Older People in Ireland

“New HSE programme ensures the money follows the patient and is to be welcomed.”

Bluebird Care to provide homecare for older people nationwide on behalf of the HSE

Bluebird Care has welcomed the new approach to older persons care with individuals and family members being able to choose which homecare provider they work with, when the HSE cannot provide services directly.

This is a significant step forward for the homecare industry in Ireland. Older people across Ireland have the ability to research, evaluate and choose which company provides care in their own home. They can choose to work with a homecare provider that was successful in the recent older persons services tender, in the relevant area. This tender gives older people and their families more choice.

Managing Director of Bluebird Care Ireland was speaking following the announcement of the HSE Tender for Older Persons Services 2016-2018. Bluebird Care will provide homecare across Ireland in 25 counties to older people in their own home.

The Director of Care at the company, Breda Mulvihill says:

Bluebird Care is fully committed to providing high quality safe services within the home setting in line with best practice and national standards, and very much looks forward to the provision of home care to older persons on behalf of the HSE over the next number of years.

Bluebird Care has been operating in Ireland since 2007 and is an Irish-owned company. The company is the first franchised homecare company to have all its 26 offices Q Mark certified. It is also the current holder of the Q Mark Business Group of the Year Award and sees external quality auditing as a key factor in their ability to provide quality homecare.

Bluebird Care provides a nurse-led service with experienced and trained Care Supervisors, Care Coordinators, Social Care workers and Homecare Assistants making up the healthcare teams.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced €40m for home care services which will be broken down as follows:

  • €20m will be allocated to ensure that the 10.4 million home help hours
  • 15,450 home care packages
  • 130 intensive home care packages
  • 313 transitional care beds provided in 2015 are maintained
  • €10m will ensure that the rate of service allocation can be maintained during the summer months
  • €10m has been ring fenced for home care as part of the new winter initiative.

Minister Harris says:

As a result, we are not only maintaining home care and transitional care services at 2015 levels, but increasing them. I am privileged to have become Minister for Health at a time when we are in a period of reinvestment in the health services, which gives me the opportunity to address some immediate issues facing patients as well as meeting Programme for Government commitments I want to deliver in my first 100 days.  This includes a Winter Initiative to manage overcrowding in Emergency Departments, an integral part of which is increased resources for home care services.


Services for Older People

Delayed discharges and waiting lists for acute services can arise when sufficient supports are not available for our older citizens in the community.  Our population is ageing rapidly, with advances in healthcare leading to a dramatic rise in our older population.  There is now a stronger emphasis on home care and other community services which provide a greater range of options to avoid admission to acute hospitals, support early discharges, and, where appropriate, to rehabilitate and re-able patients after periods of particular difficulty.


The HSE provides a range of community-based services aimed at ensuring older people receive safe, timely and appropriate care and treatment at the lowest level of complexity, and as close to home as possible. However, demand for these services is rising as more people are supported in their own homes rather than in hospitals or nursing homes and I am delighted that the Government has been able to respond to this demand by providing an extra €40m for home care in 2016.


For the future, the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to increasing funding for home care packages and home help year on year. Of the additional €40m, €20m will be allocated to ensure that the 10.4 million home help hours, 15,450 home care packages, 130 intensive home care packages and 313 transitional care beds provided in 2015 are maintained; €10m will ensure that the rate of service allocation can be maintained during the summer months; and €10m has been ring fenced for home care as part of the new winter initiative.


There will, however, always be a cohort of older people who require a quality long-term residential care option.  This must continue to be available to anyone who needs it.

Service for People with Disabilities

The Government, together with the statutory and non-statutory agencies who provide services to people with disabilities, have been working towards empowering  people with disabilities to live independent lives, provide them with greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhancing their ability to tailor the supports they require to meet their needs and plan their lives. This year, funding of €1.59 billion in total is being provided for health and personal social services for wide and complex range of services and supports for people with disabilities, including the additional €31m which was secured for Disability Services, as was outlined by Minister McGrath last week.


The additional funding will cover costs incurred from compliance with national residential standards, services provided to meet the changing needs of people with disabilities, and the provision of emergency residential places. Of this additional funding, €3m is ear-marked for new initiatives, including an additional provision for services to meet the need of school leavers with disabilities and the anticipated cost of a number of emergency residential placements arising this year.


There is an onus on us all to use this substantial resource more effectively and efficiently.  And most importantly, we must ensure that we are achieving real and significant improvements in the lives of people with disabilities.


These improvements are being driven through Transforming Lives, which is the programme to implement the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services in Ireland.






Q Mark Homecare Company of the Year Nominations For Bluebird Care

Eight Bluebird Care offices have been nominated for the Q Mark Homecare Company of the Year Award. Bluebird Care has also been shortlisted for Business Group of the Year which we have won twice in three years, and we are the current holders of the title.

Congratulations to our Galway, Dublin North, Limerick, Dublin West and Kildare/Laois/Offaly offices as well has Head Office for displaying excellence in quality homecare standards.


There is always space for improvement, no matter how long you have been in business. We base on our business on quality processes and like to lead by example in our industry. We have engaged with EIQA for quite a number of years and each year have a number of our offices who reach the finals. I would like to congratulate this year’s nominees who work daily to constantly improve. This a team award. – Eddie O’Toole, Operations Director, Bluebird Care Ireland


Why Q Mark for Homecare?

In the absence of state regulations the Q Mark for Home and Community Care Quality Management Systems framework ensures home and community care operators have established business processes and procedures to ensure that the highest standard of care is provided to all clients and transparency for their families.

This ensures that Home and Community care providers are independently assessed in the key areas but not limited to:

Effective Management including; corporate governance, professional standards, community involvement, continuous improvement, adequate numbers of trained and appropriate skilled staff to ensure the safe delivery of care and service to service users.

Appropriate Access and Service Delivery; including assessment, care plan development and delivery, reassessment.

Service Users Rights and Responsibilities including; privacy, confidentiality, advocacy, independence and complaints management.

The Q Mark for Home and Community Care – The Only 100% Continuous Improvement Programme!

The Q Mark for Home and Community Care is a continuous improvement programme. This means that 100% of your services processes, procedures and resources are assessed on an annual basis in compliance with the Q Mark for Home and Community Care QMS framework criteria.

At the end of each annual assessment, each Home and Community Care service provider is given an extensive business report. This will identify current best practices as well as suggested areas for improvement and will provide you with the basis of a business plan for the year ahead. The report will also identify ways for the service provider to operate to the highest standard of quality care and provide an excellent quality of life for service users.

During subsequent assessments, all recommendations from previous reports will be assessed to ensure that every Home and Community Care provider continues to improve their standard of operation year on year.

Using The Q Mark framework ensures that a Home and Community Care provider has accountability in every part of their service, whilst enhancing consumer and client confidence. It also allows for easy preparation for any regulatory authority audit e.g. NERA.

What are the Q Mark Awards?

The National Q Mark awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of Business Excellence.

The awards night celebrates the success of businesses over a range of sectors that review 100% of their processes and procedures 100% of the time so that they continually operate best practice standards.

All companies that are audited during the ‘awards window’ 1st April – 31st March are considered to compete for a National Q Mark Award. However, only business that achieve the highest scores at audit are shortlisted in their relevant category.

Once Shortlisted, all companies must complete a highly detailed submission document. This submission document is then presented to an expert panel of independent judges. Our judging panel includes experts from the areas of Food Safety, Employment Law, Academia, Business & Quality to name but a few.

The Business Group of the Year 2015 - Bluebird Care

The Business Group of the Year 2015 – Bluebird Care

The Bluepoints Club

Lovin' Bluebird Care Header

Bluebird Care Staff Loyalty Scheme Launched

We are delighted to officially launch Bluebird Care’s new staff loyalty scheme called The Bluepoints Club.

We have been working on this initiative since last autumn and are delighted to finally be in a position to unveil it to you.

We regard you, our staff, our company’s best asset and this latest scheme is one in a series to foster greater morale within Bluebird Care right across Ireland.

As a Bluebird Care employee, you receive discounts with hundreds of brands and retailers, making your money go further.

So all of our 1,500+ staff in the 26 counties will now benefit from exclusive discounts from a broad range of retail, lifestyle, travel and sports brands – right from your smartphone. The discounts website is provided for you as an employee benefit. The scheme gives you the opportunity to save money with hundreds of well-known brands and companies. This means you have access to a wide range of savings on day-to-day items, as well as high-savings products in the financial, insurance and tax areas.

The Bluepoints Club is now visible as a new icon on our dedicated app BRAT.

Simply register with your email address.

Be sure to make the most of the scheme as it has generous discounts. After you register you will get regular notifications of new offers and deals on the site. Please do offer feedback to your local Director on this new scheme as we always value staff feedback.

Did Somebody Say Discounts?



Who doesn’t love brands? Here’s just a sample of the big brands that are part of
The Bluepoints Club!

Register Now!

Follow the guidelines below on how to register to the site from


What Are You Waiting For?



Leaving Bluebird Care?

Staff who leave the company will have access to the Lovin’ Bluebird Care scheme disabled.

Bluebird Care To Attended Kerry Business & Jobs Expo

Bluebird Care Kerry are delighted to be attending the Kerry Business and Jobs Expo on the 24th of April in the INEC Killarney.

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If you attend the expo, please come visit our exhibit. Below is the scheduled programme for the day. EXPO Programme p1 (004) EXPO programme p2 (003)