The day to day running of NTDSS is handled by Manager Patricia Carroll and Administrator Ann Ryan, as well as a small number of support staff. At present, more than fifty Personal Assistants are employed by NTDSS, each with their own skill set and level of training.
All staff members must complete a formal Garda vetting procedure before commencing employment, and Service Users have full discretion over whether or not they wish to take on a Personal Assistant. The Manager will work closely with the Service User, their family and their healthcare professionals to ascertain their precise support needs and find a Personal Assistant who will best suit these requirements. All staff members also sign confidentiality agreements, ensuring privacy and discretion for all Service Users.
Many of our Personal Assistants have completed the full FETAC Level 5 Healthcare Support qualification, with many also possessing separate qualifications in First Aid, Manual Handling, Patient Moving and Child Protection. All Personal Assistants have access to a training fund which enables them to continuously add to and renew their current levels of training. All efforts will be made to match each Service User with a Personal Assistant possessing the skill set and qualifications necessary to their support requirements.
As well as obtaining vetting clearance from An Garda Síochána, NTDSS also has its own Trust in Care Policy (adopted from the Health Service Executive policy document of 2005), which contains detailed guidelines and procedures designed to protect both Service Users and their Personal Assistants. This includes procedures both for internal investigations, and for notifying An Garda Síochána or other relevant external authorities when appropriate.