Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has obtained new figures which show that the Longford and Westmeath region is suffering significant under provision of home help hours.
The figures show that the HSE had a target of providing 79,562 home help hours between April 2014 and April 2015. However in the same period of time the HSE delivered 77,248 home help hours, meaning that over 2,314 home help hours were lost over the 12 month period.
Deputy Troy commented, “It’s a well-known fact that Ireland has an ageing population with more people needing access to the home care package. The scheme is of vital importance as it allows people to stay in the comfort in their own home while at the same time receiving adequate care. However the figures I have obtained show that the HSE is missing its target when it comes to the provision of home help hours in Longford and Westmeath.
“This under performance is worrying and the Government must ensure that this trend does not continue. It is unacceptable that allocated hours are not being used despite the increase in older people and people with disabilities who need assistance at home.
“Fine Gael and Labour have eroded supports for older people and people with disabilities over the past four years. The respite care grant was cut, care units have been forced to turn away patients due to staff shortages and payments such as the fuel allowance have been reduced. The under provision of help hours is just another example of the Government not doing enough to ensure that people who need help in the home get the maximum level of assistance on offer.
“The HSE needs to do more to ensure that underperformance in the provision of home help hours does not continue. There are many older people and people with disabilities in Longford and Westmeath who could do with more assistance under the Home Care Package. We all know someone in our local community that could do with additional assistance.
“Given the range of cuts targeting people with disabilities and their careers it is imperative that the full provision of Home Help Hours for Longford and Westmeath is used in full.”