Minimum standards for the provision of home care are being introduced by the Health Service Executive.
Under a new tendering process, companies have to show they are meeting new training standards and vetting procedures for staff.
The health authority revealed yesterday that 26 companies out of 92 had been successful in tendering for the new home care contract.
The tendering process is for 4,600 new, enhanced, home care packages for people needing additional and specialist support.
Arrangements for 11,000 older people currently in receipt of enhanced care packages will not be affected as the changes only apply to future contracts.
The HSE says staff must be trained to Fetac Level 5 home care standard and will be Garda vetted.
Four companies have been assigned to provide enhanced home care within each local health area and their details will be made available on the HSE website at the end of the month.
The HSE said the new tendering process is the first step in introducing standards in the industry.
Companies will be monitored and sanctions, including the termination of contracts, will be imposed on those failing to meet the standard of care expected.
Around 200 companies are involved in providing home care packages and all will eventually be expected to reach the minimum standard of care.
The service agreements will be reviewed after a year before the option of a second year is considered.
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