Coalition calls for €110m investment to improve 'inadequate' home care services

Coalition calls for €110m investment to improve 'inadequate' home care services

A coalition of groups that support older and disabled people has called on the Government to invest €110m for home care services for their clients.

The 22 members of the Home Care Coalition (HCC) has released a report addressing the challenges faced by older and disabled people when accessing essential home care services.

The coalition is seeking the investment in Budget 2020 to meet the growing demand for home care services, which they say have been steadily declining over recent years.

They said that home care service providers are struggling to maintain the previous year’s standard, with limited access to home care packages and growing waiting lists, saying that "even those assessed as needing home support are unable to access help".

The HCC believes that there is a lack of consistency and quality in the level of care received by older and disabled people.

They also said their clients face other issues when accessing home care services, such as insufficient staff training, under-resourcing of home care staff, insufficient standards and quality systems, inadequate safeguarding and monitoring, and inconsistencies across CHO areas in terms of prioritisation, access and assessment processes, reporting, and waiting list management.

Access to care services also varies depending on where clients live, with the HCC saying that in many areas it is very difficult to be granted a home care package unless the individual is being discharged from hospital, and packages are often delayed.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, the charity which supports older people which is one of the member of the HCC, said that often when packages are provided they do not meet the appropriate standards.

He said: "The lack of clarity regarding the legal obligation of the State to provide care to older and disabled people, as well as a lack of qualified home care workers, has put pressure on family members to take on the role of carer.

"This in turn can affect the allocation of home care hours. Many carers find the services available inadequate to meet their needs.”

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