Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Home Help waiting lists highlight poor state of health funding

9 August, 2004

Oliver Molloy, Sinn Fein Councillor in Cookstown has expressed serious concern over the number of people in the Cookstown District who are waiting on home help care and services. After meeting with Homefirst staff Councillor Molloy said:

"The provision of care for the elderly in their home is a vital service and can make a real difference to those who receive the help. Unfortunately approximately fifty people in the Cookstown area cannot avail of this service due to the lack of funding and staff shortages. We are calling on the Trust and the Northern Health Board to urgently look at this matter and review the level of funding being made available.

"We have also written to Homefirst Trust requesting an urgent meeting to discuss this and other issues. We are seeking a meeting with the Northern Health Board on the matter. The issue of funding is central to the provision of services. Without proper investment and indeed properly managed investment then people will suffer and will not get the level of care they require. We would also like Homefirst to clarify just how extensive the list is across the Trust area and what action they are taking to address the problem.

"Currently in the Cookstown district around 50 people have been assessed as needing care, with about 30 of these being home help type care packages.

They unfortunately remain on a waiting list until funding becomes available or someone else no longer needs the service. It is in effect waiting on someone to die so that a place can become available. This is a sorry state of affairs for a so-called modern day health care service.

"We are now urging Homefirst community Trust and the Northern Health Board to sit down and look at what funds are available for this and other services, critically assess whether funds are being properly used and devise a mechanism for dealing with the waiting lists which exist." ENDS

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