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Elderly patients left to suffer by HSE penny-pinching – Crowe

27 March, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD

Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has questioned the Health Service Executive (HSE) over changes they introduced which he claims have left many elderly incontinent patients with inferior pads. Crowe claims his views are backed by many service users and he has called on the HSE to immediately address the issue.

The Dublin South West Deputy was responding to a reply he received from the HSE to a Parliamentary Question that he asked on the issue, which suggests that the specifications for incontinent pads is currently under review in advance of any future contracts being awarded.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

"Families of elderly people and children who are incontinent have been in touch with my office regarding changes that have been made to the delivery and type of pads that had been introduced over the last twelve months, which they claim are inferior and have forced them say to double up their usage.”

“These changes are having a negative effect on vulnerable users and their families and this is clearly unacceptable.”

“The HSE’s suggestion in their reply to my parliamentary question that the pads be ‘fluffed up’ might seem reasonable to the authors, but disregards the physical ability of many of these users, some of whom also suffer from additional ailments like severe arthritis.”

“I do welcome that the specifications for incontinent pads is currently under review in advance of any future contracts being awarded.”

“These pads are vital for the dignity of the user and in many ways help people live a normal independent life.”

"For anyone using these pads, confidence and certainty about their quality, and the sustainability of the product is vital.”

"I suppose the most important factor is that they don't leak and can be relied on to last for a reasonable period.”

"Many people personally spoke to me of their hardship of having to ‘double up’ and that ‘accidents’ were constantly happening.”

"I would hate to think that in the race to save money in the HSE, vulnerable people were being used as guinea pigs for inferior products to somehow save some cash.”

“This appalling vista is the belief held by many of the individuals who approached my office and led me to submit a Dáil question on their behalf.”

“Numerous families also believe that the availability of pads have also been reduced in recent years, putting further pressure on their finances and their loved ones who are dependent on the pads.”

“Surely we need to be doing everything in our power to support these families and not cutting back on the quality and the basic essentials that necessary to live some sort of normal life. The fact that the present Government is doing this on the background of slashing the respite grant suggests that they give little thought to some of our most vulnerable citizens”. 

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