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  • Northside West

TD demands home help intervention

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 7:59am
TD demands home help intervention
TD demands home help intervention

THE Government is being urged to intervene to ensure home help is available to prevent people being hospitalised and enable patients already there to be discharged and taken care of at home.

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West, Dessie Ellis, said there is currently an effective freeze on home help hours that must be reversed.

“This freeze makes no budgetary sense as it costs €5,964 per week to care for someone in an acute hospital bed, while it costs just €160 per week with a home help support package,” he said.

“In recent weeks we have learned that the HSE has effectively suspended the allocation of home help to new applicants until November.

“This freeze is going to have a major impact on older citizens in need of care, on their families, on people with a disability and on their carers.

“It will also put huge pressure on hospitals because of delayed discharges and force older people into nursing homes.

“All of this is happening because the HSE says there is a need to balance their budget for 2019.

“The real measure of performance here is that there are over six thousand people on waiting lists and there are countless others who have had their hours cuts.

“Without enough home help hours, patients are forced to remain in hospitals at a huge cost, or else families are forced to pay privately for home care supports.

“The Taoiseach must commit to looking at whether funding can be found in the HSE’s budget to fund additional home help hours for the rest of the year.”

Minister for State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, told RTE’s Morning Ireland last week that despite additional funding and hours “we simply can’t keep up with demand.”

However, he was adamant that the home help scheme was not closed to new entrants. Minister Daly also said the best way to deliver home help was through a scheme similar to Fair Deal that would involve co-payment.

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