Fianna Fáil T.D. for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called the decision of the HSE to restrict new entrants into its Home Help Scheme until next November ‘disgraceful’
Speaking on the matter, Deputy Chambers said, “The decision by the HSE to close off its home help scheme to new entrants when there are over 6,000 people waiting is nothing short of disgraceful.”
“This vital service ensures that patients can be cared for in their own home, taking pressure off our hospitals that are already way above capacity. Additional supports to the service are badly needed, not more restrictions on the service,” she continued.
“In addition to imposing a ban on new entrants, the HSE have said that there is no guarantee those who are currently receiving home help and require more support will get it,” she said.
“The HSE’s explanation for the restrictions is simply not good enough, they are attributing it to a new nationally negotiated contract which will see health care support assistants paid for the time it takes them to travel to people’s homes and therefore have an insufficient budget to both pay their staff and provide home help contacts,” she said.
“The Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly has made alarming comments this week stating that ‘the Home Help Scheme is set to move towards the inclusion of some form of ‘co-payment’ – I have asked the Minister to clarify his comments and explain to the public exactly what his plans are for the Home Help Scheme, leaving vulnerable people in limbo like this is utterly unacceptable,” she stated
“These restrictions will no doubt put further pressures on acute hospital services in terms of delayed discharges which in turn will lead to more patients waiting on trollies,” she said
“I am convinced that this decision will harm patients and cause huge upset to families who want to care for their loved ones at home,” she continued
“This move contradicts government policy of ensuring that people are kept in their homes under the care of their loved ones for as long as possible. The Minister needs to intervene and do his job properly instead of going against his own government’s policy and further restricting an already sparsely resourced service,” she concluded.