Six areas hit by home help shortage, health forum told

Six areas in the county are currently experiencing a particular shortage of home help carers, a meeting of the HSE West’s regional health forum heard this week.

Tony Canavan, the HSE West’s chief officer for Community Healthcare West, said while all HSE areas nationally were affected, Gort, Kinvara, Ardrahan, Portumna, West Connemara, and East Galway, were especially hit.

He was responding to a question from local county councillor and forum member Mary Hoade. She said there were many areas in the county in which the HSE was unable to secure home helps. She went on to inquire about the number of carers employed directly by the HSE and home support agencies in the last year.

Mr Canavan said that providers were constantly trying to recruit staff.

“Community Healthcare West is taking all measures to secure carers through direct HSE employment and Home Support Agencies. Galway HSE has recruited 15 home care support assistants in the past year.

“There are currently 700 home care support assistants - 473 whole time equivalents - employed in Community Healthcare West; 157 WTEs are in Galway,” he said.

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