Figures on home help waiting list for County Mayo unacceptable

Fianna Fáil T.D. for Mayo Lisa Chambers has hit out at Government for failing patients and families who are waiting for home support packages, and for those who need additional home support hours.

“Speaking on the matter, Deputy Chambers said “There has been an alarming increase in the number of people in County Mayo who have qualified for home support but have to wait for the resources to be put in place before they will receive any support.”

“I submitted a number of parliamentary questions to the Minister for Health on Home Support Services in County Mayo and the replies I got back are nothing more than shameful. Figures show that in January 2017 there were 40 people on the waiting list for home support in Mayo. In January of this year (2018) figures have spiraled out of control with an alarming number of 376 people in Mayo on the waiting list for home help, with the average waiting times for persons on this list being one year.”

“This growing waiting list is only one matter of concern in relation to home support services in County Mayo. I am informed that there are 1770 patients in receipt of home support in county Mayo but only 183 whole time staff working for the HSE as well as agency staff providing the services. A number of people have contacted me about their needs for additional hours of support each week. There is an appeals mechanism available for those who feel they should be entitled to additional hours but it is a long process. People feel that the system is working against them rather than with them and quite frankly I share their view”.

“Home support is invaluable for both patients and their families. People can safely and comfortably remain in their homes. Families are struggling and doing the best they can to care for their loved ones. The support staff themselves are providing great care and are doing the best that they can for all of the people in their care. We now need the Government to step up and do more for those waiting for care and those who need more support hours”.

I have been contacted by families of people who clearly require support but the resources are simply not available to meet this basic need. This is not acceptable and we need to see action from the government to tackle this issue. They can afford to spend tax payers money on glossy advertising in the papers nationwide but can’t allocate money for basic services for the people of this country.”