Government Fall Short on Homecare Target By Over 2.5 Million Hours - Tóibín
Statistics released to the Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD, by the HSE, show that while more people than forecasted have been granted homecare packages, the number of hours of home care provided, is over two and half million shy of the targets.
Speaking in response to the statistics, Deputy Tóibín said:
"The HSE National Service Plan for 2022 set a target to deliver 23.67 million hours of home care to 55,675 people in 2022. However the most recent data available shows that as of the end of October, only 17.5 million hours had been delivered to 56,210 people. If we do the maths on this we see that they were at that stage, over two million hours short of where they should have been according to the targets".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "The situation with home help in this country is in absolute complete and utter chaos, there are countless people around the country who have been granted a package but have never seen anyone walk through their front door to provide home help. There seems to be major staffing inadequacies in the multiple agencies contracted by the HSE to provide homecare. This failure by government is a key driver of the overcrowding in hospitals currently. Many many people are in a hospital med who have been clinically discharged but cant make it hope because they have no home help. This blocks beds and means that people have to remain on trollies in A&Es.
"In other cases I'm aware of packages which consist of multiple different agencies patched together - a situation which is altogether unsustainable. Whereby the person providing care on one day is not from the same agency as the person providing care the following day. Poor wages and working conditions is driving people out of the sector. The HSE have confirmed to me that on average they pay €27 per hour of care to these agencies. But that’s not what agencies are paying home care professionals. On average home care professionals are paid €15.50 a hour nearly half the rate paid by the state. It's high time we paid professionals properly. This would increase and stabilise the supply of home carers and ease the pressure on the whole system", concluded Tóibín.