Increased funding only way to clear home help waiting lists – Conway-Walsh

Senator Rose Conway Walsh

Senator Rose Conway Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has criticised the practice of freezing the home support service - following waiting list data released to Sinn Féin showed that waiting lists grew by nearly 600 people between April and May to 6,819 people.

The figures also show that 341 people in Mayo have already been assessed and are now waiting on home support.

Senator Conway-Walsh stated: "Figures released by the HSE have shown that as of May 31 2019, there were 6,819 people waiting for funding for a home support service. The number of people has surged by 581 since data was last released in March.

"The sole reason for this increase has been the freezing of the home help service by the HSE. The people on this list are entitled to this service – they have been assessed and approved for home support, but they cannot be facilitated because of the freeze in the service.

"The system is a complete post-code lottery, the county or area where you live defines whether you can get the service or if you join a waiting list of hundreds.

"The home help service is one of the best value-for-money services in the health service – properly funding it saves millions by keeping people in their homes and out of hospitals or nursing homes. The longer funding is denied, the more pressure is placed on families and neighbours who are doing their best. It is cruel to put people through an assessment, inform them that they have been successful and then make them wait even longer.

"It is not possible for the government or the HSE to stand over undermining this service - they have essentially pulled down the shutters on the home help service and stuck a 'closed until further notice' sign outside – but this is an invaluable health service, and through their actions they are denying people care.

"Today’s figures mean the Government can no longer claim they do not know the extent of this crisis. They also know that the only way to clear the backlog is to increase funding", concluded Senator Conway-Walsh.

 

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