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Home Help applicants told by HSE to buy their care – Kenny

24 July, 2019 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking from his constituency today, Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny, who represents Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal, has criticised the cut-backs in resources and HSE participation in the privatisation of home help services.

Deputy Kenny said:

“The lack of home care services has all sorts of knock-on effects, not least, keeping people in acute beds in hospitals when they and their families would much prefer that they were home.

“The situation has reached ludicrous proportions in my constituency where, according to recent figures, there are 230 people waiting for home help in Sligo and Leitrim alone.

“Two such people received letters from the HSE advising them that they should seek and pay for private companies to perform home help duties.  One of these people was approved for one hour’s home help a week, but was told there were not resources to provide it.

“The HSE denies that there have been cuts or a freeze on new entrants to the scheme, but the fact remains that there are nearly 7,000 people across the state waiting for home care packages.

“My party colleague, Louise O’Reilly TD, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, has said that the cost of someone being cared for under the home help scheme is about €165 a week, adding: ‘Whereas, if someone is stuck in the hospital and cannot be discharged home because of a lack of home help services, it costs the health service around €5,992 per week, and if they are in a nursing home it costs around €1,048 a week’.” 

Note: Please see attached correspondence from the HSE in relation to the two cases mentioned

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