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  • Northside West

Waiting list for home support still increasing

Thursday, 24th January, 2019 6:00pm
Waiting list for home support still increasing
Waiting list for home support still increasing

THE number of older people on waiting lists for home support services in North Dublin has increased to the highest in the country according to figures obtained by a local TD.

Last July, Deputy Róisín Shortall (SD) revealed that more than 950 residents from the Dublin North City and North Dublin areas were on the Home Support Service for Older People waiting list.

Responding at the time, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said numbers on the waiting list reflected a point in time and it was reviewed as funding became available.

However, the updated figures obtained by Deputy Shorthall show over 1,500 older people in North Dublin are now waiting for home care.

“When I first obtained these figures from the HSE in July I was appalled that over 900 vulnerable older people could be left waiting for such as basic service in North Dublin,” she said.

“The Minister has repeatedly promised action on this issue, but the updated figures that I have received show that over 1,500 older people in North Dublin are now waiting for home care.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that this has been allowed to happen.”

Deputy Shortall is calling on Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to “get a grip” on what she described as “a crisis”.

“He needs to realise that his failure to invest in local services for older people on the Northside won’t be tolerated,” she added.

“The numbers on waiting lists in other parts of the country have fallen, but in our area they have increased by over 600 in less than six months.”

Deputy Shortall said that while the average weekly cost for home-support services was €160 it was a fraction of the €1,000 plus per week that nursing home care costs.

“Additionally, many older people remain in hospital longer than they need as no home supports are available. An acute hospital bed can cost the HSE approximately €6,000 per week and adds to waiting lists as people cannot return home.

“It is a complete failure of planning and a waste of resources.

“Many older people need only a minimum amount of day-to-day support that will allow them to live independently. In failing to properly fund these services the government is essentially telling older people on the Northside that they simply do not care about their needs.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here