Learn about the DSS

02 Jul, 2020


Video Script

Áine Flynn, Director of the Decision Support Service

"The Decision Support Service - or the DSS - was established by the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.

Its objective is to maximise autonomy for people who require support to make decisions about their personal welfare, property and financial affairs.

Estimates suggest that there could be as many as 220,000 people living in Ireland who have decision-making capacity-difficulties, and who may become users of the DSS once it opens its doors.

While the reforms in the Act will immediately benefit persons with intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injury, mental illness and age-related conditions, we must bear in mind that at any point in time, anyone of us could lose the capacity to make and communicate decisions for ourselves.

The 2015 Act, therefore, is an Act for everyone."

John Saunders, Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission

"The remit of the Mental Health Commission was extended to include the establishment of the DSS. Although it is now over four-and-a-half years since the 2015 Act was signed into law, it has still not been fully commenced.

It is critically important that those people who will benefit most from the Act are provided with a clear roadmap for commencement.

However, unless we receive adequate funding in the upcoming budget, the DSS will not be in a position to open its doors until after 2022. It is absolutely critical that the full commencement of the 2015 Act and the DSS is prioritised by the new government."

Áine Flynn, Director of the Decision Support Service

"In the meantime, work continues to establish the DSS within the Commission. Over the last 18 months, we have fully mobilised our senior management team; we have designed detailed processes and structures necessary to deliver an accessible, person-centred service; we have reviewed draft Codes of Practice; and we have engaged widely with our stakeholders.

We want to see the launch of the DSS as much as anyone. We will continue to engage robustly with the Department with the intention of finalising a time-bound plan with a commencement date to which we can all commit.

Thank you."


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