Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West John Curran has said that it is deeply frustrating for the 650 older people in Dublin Mid-West and their families who are waiting for funding for a Home Care Package from the HSE.
Deputy Curran was commenting after the HSE confirmed to him that at the end of February there were 650 older people waiting for funding for a home care package in his constituency of Dublin Mid-West. A total of 6, 172 older people are waiting nationally.
“This is a staggering number of people, vulnerable people I may add, waiting for support that the HSE has already been deemed to be necessary.
“The delay in these people accessing their home care package is down to nothing more than a lack of funding and an incompetency to budget for the Home Support Scheme appropriately.
“I am deeply concerned by the very large numbers of people waiting in my own constituency of Dublin Mid-West in CHO7 which covers Clondalkin, Palmerstown and Lucan, there are currently 650 people waiting.
“Home Care Packages are not optional extras in the lives of these people and their families. They are, in many cases, the difference between an older people staying in their home, surrounded by family or friends, or living in a nursing home or other assisted living centre.
“We know two things. One, there are better outcomes for older people when they can stay in their own home, and two, we don’t have the capacity in the nursing home sector to cater for thousands of extra people.
This is a grossly underfunded scheme and the HSE have seriously failed to budget appropriately for this scheme. The 2018 National Service Plan provides funding for Home Support to 50,500, yet in February 2018 over 52,000 people are already in receipt of this support, already putting the HSE over budget and there are 6,172 people on a waiting list.
It is very serious that there is an inability by the Minister and the HSE to plan and to budget appropriately for this scheme.”
“The HSE needs to get its act together. Speed up the processing of funding applications to ensure that delays are kept to the absolute minimum, and if there isn’t enough funding, make the case to Government that additional funding is required. It costs considerably more to look after an older people in a nursing home than it does to fund a home care package.
“Ministers Daly and Harris need to decide how the State will continue to fund older people. Fianna Fáil will shortly publish it’s new Older Person’s Strategy which will detail our party’s commitments to older people and their families,” concluded Curran.