Care in the home should be one of the highest priorities of our health service

Home Care Services

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe said that delivering care in the home should be one of the highest priorities of our health service and of any government, not least because of the benefits of independent living for many of our elderly citizens, but also due to the relieved pressure on our hospital system.
Speaking in the Dáil recently, Teachta Crowe said “If we want to pay more than lip service to independent living, delivering care in the home should be one of the highest priorities of our health service and of any government. “Demographics suggest that we are all living longer, which is a good thing, but worryingly it is suggested that if people are not well off, they will struggle as they get older and the quality of their extended life will be poor unless supports are increased dramatically. It is an abandonment of our duty to our older and more vulnerable citizens that it is often beyond the ability of many families to afford private home care.
“Some 1,000 people unnecessarily experienced a delayed discharge from hospitals this year because the home care packages are just not there. If we want to look at the problems further, there is a lack of step-down beds, which impacted on another 7,000 people being discharged. The pressure our lack of focus on issues like home care puts on the hospital system is enormous. “By way of an example of some of the challenges being faced, there were 11 ambulances outside Tallaght University Hospital on a recent weekend. There are 12 ambulances in the Dublin Fire Brigade fleet, 10 of which were outside that hospital. There is a problem within the system.
“I ask any member of government to point out a hospital in the country that does not have people lying on beds because they do not have somewhere else to go. I do not know of any such hospital and that is the experience my colleagues and I are hearing about. We need to do more regarding that. The almost glacial speed of changes to the provision of care in the public service needs to change.
“In my area, Tallaght University Hospital recently commenced the Pathfinder service with the National Ambulance Service, which it is hoped will reduce the need for patients to attend the accident and emergency department, but this took years to expand following an experimental pilot programme in Beaumont Hospital. Despites its success, there seems to be a delay. We need to be more proactive, move quicker and realise the benefits of a successful project sooner rather than later.

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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