Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has said failing to properly resource the provision of Home Support Services is adversely impacting on older people and their loved ones.
The Deputy obtained figures from the Health Service Executive this month which reveal that some 6,117 people are now waiting for essential home support services despite having been previously assessed and approved.
“The figures themselves are damning but even more concerning is the fact that the HSE do not have the ability to determine the length of time these people have been waiting – it could be months and even years.” he commented.
“Week in, week out I am meeting families who are desperate for home support services for their elderly loved one. It is often the case that these families are on leave from work to care for the person or are struggling to balance helping out with their own day to day lives. This can be hugely stressful on family relationships.
“The HSE National Service Plan 2018 set out for the provision of 17.094m home support hours to be delivered to 50,500 people. But by the end of April this year that number had already been exceeded; 52,659 people were in receipt of Home Support Services while a further 6,117 languish on a waiting list.
“These people have already been assessed by the HSE and it has been determined that they need additional home supports. It makes little sense to delay giving home care supports to people that need them. In fact, it goes against the Government’s stated aim of ensuring people can continue living in their home if they so choose to do so.
“The HSE do not have the funding needed to meet demand and it is therefore a matter for the Minister for Health Simon Harris and his Cabinet colleagues to ensure the scheme is properly resourced.
“The current waiting lists cannot be left to grow and grow,” he concluded.