‘Shocking’ figures reveal number of people without much-needed carers

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Sinn Féin representative Louis O’Hara has called on the government to act urgently to ensure carers are available to assist people who need home support in Galway.

His call follows new figures which revealed the numbers of people in Galway that have been left without much-needed carers.

Figures released by the HSE to his party colleague Pauline Tully TD exposed that almost 5,000 people across the state are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them despite being approved.

Of these, 638 are living in CHO area 2, which includes Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

“In total 638 people have been approved for a carer in CHO area 2, which includes Galway, but despite this have not been allocated a carer due to severe shortages. Almost 5,000 people are in this unacceptable situation across the state,” said Mr O’Hara.

O’Hara described the situation as ‘unacceptable’, saying Sinn Féin has been warning for many years now of a looming crisis within the homecare system.

“This crisis has spiralled during the pandemic, yet the government has consistently failed to properly plan and put contingencies in place,” he said.

In response to the parliamentary question, the government acknowledged that ‘factors, such as the contracts of employment on offer and employment terms and conditions being offered are a factor in the recruitment challenges faced by the sector’.

“I am calling on the government to engage with private and community and voluntary homecare providers to incentivise the progression of the terms and conditions they offer their staff and bring them into line with those employed directly by the HSE,” O’Hara added.