Home Help service “in tatters” due to staffing problems says Galway TD

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Galway East TD Seán Canney has said that the Home Help Service administered by the HSE is ‘in tatters due to staff shortages’.

The Independent TD said that this is leaving vulnerable people who have been assessed for home help hours without a service.

Deputy Canney said it has now reached the stage that elderly people who could remain living at home are now bring forced into long term care in nursing homes.

The situation contradicts the Sláintecare strategy to keep people living in their own homes, he said.

“We now have a farcical situation where the HSE are luring staff from the private Home Care service providers, even though the HSE are now relying on the private operators.

“The kernel of the problem is that HSE management have been ignoring the fact that in order to attract home care workers, they need to make the job a career choice with a pay scale that matches the service being provided by these workers.”

Deputy Canney said that the HSE also needs to offer rates of pay to the private homecare service providers to ensure they can attract more workers into the service.

“I have been contacted by many worried families who have a loved one assessed and approved for Home Help but there is no one available.

“The HSE need to ensure that the funding allocated is used for its intended purpose and not having it lost in management costs.

“The HSE need to act immediately to ensure that Home Care Work is an attractive career choice and that we provide the Home Care Support to vulnerable people to keep them living in their homes rather than sending them into Nursing Homes when there is a viable alternative.”