Leading NGOs urge Government to address homecare to ease winter trolley crisis

Homecare Coalition call for €10 million towards additional homecare over Christmas

Twenty-five leading NGOs from the Homecare Coalition say Government must urgently address the chronic underfunding of homecare as part of their efforts to avoid the impending winter trolley crisis.

 

The group have called for an investment of €10 million to be ring-fenced for additional home care staff to provide much needed services over the Christmas period.

 

The Coalition argue that decades of underfunding community and primary care services is a major contributing factor to the annual winter trolley crisis, and that failing to adequately fund Home Care Packages, home-helps and respite care, has contributed to over-reliance on acute hospital care during the winter months.

 

A spokesperson for the Coalition, Seán Moynihan said, “It is vital that the HSE address the severe shortage of home support hours available in order to tackle the trolley crisis this winter.  Our experience is that there are hundreds of patients across the country who are being forced to remain in hospital even though they are well enough to go home, because of the chronic underfunding of homecare and the shortage of homecare packages. The winter healthcare crisis goes far beyond trolleys and must be viewed within the wider context of care in the community and care in the home”.

 

By providing appropriate levels of homecare, pressures on hospitals could be greatly reduced by lessening demand on A&E, avoiding delayed discharges, reducing hospital re-admission rates and most importantly improving patients’ quality of life, by keeping them at home where they and their families want them to be.

 

“Hospital and community care managers must work together to address this issue rather than operating within their budget silos. It is in nobody’s interest to have people in hospital beds who are medically fit to go home but cannot do so because they cannot access community or home support services.  Community and home support services do fantastic work but we need to provide them with the resources to give people the support they need. Hospital stays are a far greater cost to the state and it flies in the face of Government policy to care for people with disability and older people in their own homes for as long as possible,” stated spokesperson Seán Moynihan.

 

ENDS

 

About the Homecare Coalition:

Homecare Coalition includes: Active Retirement Ireland, Acquired Brain Injury, Age Action, Age and Opportunity, ALONE, Care Alliance Ireland, Cheshire Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, Irish Association of Social Workers, Irish Heart Foundation, Irish Hospice Foundation, Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, MS Ireland, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Neurological Alliance of Ireland, Sage Advocacy,The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Third Age.

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