'More Compassion' Needed In Allocation Of Home Help Hours

Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have been urged to show "more compassion" in the allocation of home help hours.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth, said that despite the fact that home help hours across the two counties have increased over the last number of years, they're still down on the 2010 figures. In fact, the number of hours available to people in Cavan and Monaghan in 2016 were more than 34% lower than the 2010 stats. In addition to this, people are waiting for months to be approved for the scheme.

Deputy Smyth said: "I am seriously worried that people, and older people in particular are being left without essential services because they are on a long waiting list for the home help scheme.

"Only last week I had an 86-year-old woman contact me – she had applied for home help for her 93-year-old husband in January but was still waiting for approval in August. This is an unacceptable amount of time for an elderly couple to be waiting.

"Home help hours allow people to stay in their own homes, but they also alleviate the pressure on the acute hospital system. I am shocked that despite the increased demand for the service and repeated promises to increase funding for home care packages, the increases in home help hours across Cavan and Monaghan have been minimal.

"It's widely recognised that older people who stay in their own homes supported by their home helps and their families have better outcomes. I am very worried that hundreds of older people across Cavan and Monaghan are losing out on essential care because the Government is not allocating enough hours to cope with demand.

"The Programme for Government commits to increasing home help hours, but the first HSE Service plan under this Government has completely ignored this.

"I am disappointed by Minister Harris' failure to direct the HSE to strategically invest more in this important area of Social Care despite an increased overall budget and the existing pressure on an overstretched system."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 January 2012
SIPTU Condemns Cutting Of Home Help
Worker's union SIPTU has slammed a proposed 4.5% reduction in home help hours proposed in the Health Service Executive (HSE) Service Plan. The union said the reduction, published on Monday, "flew in the face" of the Government’s stated commitment to primary care.
16 November 2016
Call For 'Urgent Review' Of New Home Help Hours Score Card
Fianna Fáil has called for an urgent review of a new score chart introduced to assess and allocate home help hours. Making the call, TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte, said she wants to see a more flexible system, which understands the needs of individual cases rather than a "one size fits all" model.
08 June 2017
Health Minister Criticised For Failing To Halt Reduction In Home Help Hours
Fianna Fáil has slammed Minister for Health Simon Harris for failing to halt a reduction in allocated home help hours. In a parliamentary reply to the party's Spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler, HSE revealed between January and February this year, 1.65 million home help hours were provided compared to 1.
13 August 2012
SIPTU And HSE Begin Series Of Meetings To Resolve Dispute
SIPTU begin a series of meetings with the Health Service Executive in Cork tonight. Up to 9,000 home help workers employed by the HSE are in dispute with their employer over not implementing a 2009 agreement on contracts. A Labour Court recommendation in June directed the HSE to meet the union within a month to resolve the dispute.
11 November 2010
Elderly Care Slammed By Ombudsman
The care of older people has been in focus across the UK and Ireland this week - with dramatically different outcomes in the two states.