Wexford home help waiting lists totally unacceptable

14 November 2018

Labour Party Leader, and TD for Wexford Brendan Howlin has called on the Department of Health and HSE to ensure sufficient resources are put in place to clear the waiting lists for home help supports.

It comes as Wexford was revealed to have the third highest waiting list for home support services.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Last week in the Dáil I raised the unacceptable shortage of resources for home help supports. After the Taoiseach and Fine Gael sought to put the blame on health workers for hospital delays, the reality is that there is not sufficient resources in place to discharge patients.

“Figures published this week in the Irish Times show that Wexford has the third highest waiting list for home support services in the country with 578 people waiting at the end of August. There appears to be a postcode lottery in place with no waiting lists in some parts of the country.

“I am aware of several cases where people cannot access a home care package because the budget has apparently run out. They are told to reapply in January. That is ludicrous.

“If the Government is serious about using hospital resources effectively and efficiently, including very expensive acute beds, to take the pressure off the busy Christmas and winter period, surely it makes sense to provide step-down beds and home care packages to patients in acute hospital beds who are awaiting transfer home. Many patients are most anxious and could more appropriately be cared for at home. They want to be at home.

“Labour’s Alternative Budget for 2019 would have committed an additional €38 million for home care and home help packages to clear the waiting lists for the more that 6,000 people waiting. It is a shame that the Government did not commit to doing the same.”

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