More than 5,000 people on waiting lists for Home Care

March 1, 2017

Róisín Shortall T.D., Social Democrats co-leader, today reveals the extensive waiting lists for Home Help and Home Care Packages.

Following questions from Roísín Shortall, the HSE says that:
·         2,342 people were waiting for a Home Care Package at the 31st December
·         2,039 people were waiting for Home Help
·         800 people approximately are waiting for extra Home Help hours
·         40 people approximately are waiting for an Intensive Home Care Package

In regional terms, the worst waiting lists for Home Help are in North Dublin, Cork and Kerry. The worst waiting lists for Home Care Packages are in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare.

Ms. Shortall, said:

“The figures show that the Minister and the HSE deliberately plan for long waiting lists for home care.

As part of the estimates process for 2017, the HSE informed the Government that it would cost €32.3m extra to eradicate waiting lists. Yet no increase in hours was budgeted for home help and only a paltry amount was provided for home-care packages. It is a system that is designed to fail – there is in effect no plan to eradicate waiting lists.

The needs of older people are being deliberately ignored; this results in older people staying much longer in hospital than they need to which puts extra pressure on hospitals and Accident and Emergency departments.

The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Helen McEntee, is currently reviewing home-care regulations. But the bottom line is that, with or without new regulations, the services require more funding so that they can operate on a demand-led basis. Without extra funding, older people will continue to go without what are basic public services.”

[ENDS] 1st March 2017