Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says HSE management must outline where additional funding provided for Home Care Packages is being spent.

Deputy Calleary made the comments after being contacted by a number of concerned people who have been denied access to a Home Care Package. This is despite the HSE having written to them outlining that they do in fact met the criteria for requiring a homecare service.

“The Home Care Package is a central part of community health care. The scheme allows older people, who need assistance and support, to stay in their homes rather than having to be treated in hospital or a nursing home. Many older people want to stay at home in familiar surroundings rather than be forced into a residential setting,” explained Deputy Calleary.

“Fianna Fáil secured additional investment for Home Care Packages last June when a further €40m was provided for the scheme. This investment was meant to be targeted to ensure that those that meet the eligibility criteria for a homecare service receive access to the Home Care Package.

“Now it transpires that the HSE has written to a number of people to say that it is currently unable to provide homecare support, despite the fact that it has determined that these people meet the eligibility criteria. This is grossly unfair and is leading to a two-tier system emerging with the provision of homecare.

“Last June HSE management made it clear that the additional funding provided for homecare packages would ensure those that meet the eligibility criteria would get access to the scheme. However four months later it transpires that people are still being denied access to homecare services. This is simply unacceptable.

“HSE management needs to launch an investigation into this and determine how the additional €40m is being spent. It’s simply not good enough that the HSE is leading people up the garden path when it comes to the provision of homecare services,” concluded Deputy Calleary.