Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has described the number of people who have been approved for Home Support services and are on a waiting list as truly shocking.

New figures released to Deputy Smith reveal that 280 people across Cavan and Monaghan have been approved for Home Supports, however they can expect to wait over 8 months before they receive any support services.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “Families across Cavan and Monaghan have been contacting my office, absolutely despairing at the length of time it’s taking them to access essential services for their loved ones.  Home Supports are a key element of our health service and enable people to be cared for in their own home – this frees up hospital beds and nursing home places.

“The majority of people want to stay in their own homes, and there is a rigorous evaluation system to ensure that it is appropriate.  There are 280 people, across the two counties, who have met the guidelines, but now they are being forced to wait months on end before the services are available to them.

“In the meantime, they may have to remain in hospital, even though they are not unwell.  This is a ridiculous situation.  Home Support services not only allow older people to remain at home, they provide a huge financial saving for the State.  I cannot understand how the government cannot do the maths and realise that investing in these essential and popular services will actually reduce health costs for the State.

“I have repeatedly called on the Health Minister to properly resource Home Supports and ensure that people, approved for assistance, can gain access to these services in a timely manner.

“It is long past time that this issue was addressed properly and I am once again urging Minister Harris to manage the health budget more efficiently so that these services can be rolled out across the board”, concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.