Local Fianna Fáil TD, John Curran has said he is extremely concerned that older people across his constituency will be left without the essential services they need as there has been no increase in the allocation of home help hours in the HSE’s Service Plan for 2017.

The Deputy made his comments following receipt of a parliamentary response which shows that the budget allocated for the provision of Home Help hours and not increased despite continued promises.

“Fine Gael has gone to great lengths to point out that there is an economic recovery, yet not one extra hour has been allocated for home helps in Dublin Mid-West. This is unbelievable given the huge demand for home help hours in our community.

“Not only do home help hours allow people to stay in their own homes, they alleviate the pressure on the acute hospital system. I am shocked that despite the increased demand for the service and repeated promises to increase funding for home care packages, the Government has failed to allocate funding for additional hours in our area.

“The Taoiseach recently noted in Dáil Eireann that extra money has been allocated for additional homehelp and that the overall allocation has increased but this simply not the case, in fact the number of hours provided in our region remains the same as in 2016.

“It’s widely recognised that older people who stay in their own homes supported by their home helpsand their families have outcomes. I am very worried that hundreds of older people across Dublin Mid-West will lose out on essential care as a result of this flawed decision.

“The Programme for Government commits to increasing home help hours, but the first HSE Service plan under this new administration has completely ignored this.

“I am disappointed by Minister Harris’ failure to direct the HSE to strategically invest more in this important area of Social Care despite an increased overall budget and the existing pressure on an overstretched system,” concluded Deputy Curran.