Extra 550 home care packages in Winter Plan

Minister for Older People Jim Daly said they were keen to put initiatives in place to “provide older people with the type of care that they need and that it is delivered in the right place”.

An additional 550 home care packages will be funded under the Winter Plan to help combat the hospital overcrowding that normally occurs around Christmas and the New Year.

The Department of Health said more than €16m has been earmarked for the home care packages, as well as additional transitional care beds and aids and appliances.

The funding is due to be announced later today.

It’s not clear if the €16m includes the €10m in once-off additional winter funding already announced for 2018.

The Department of Health said it expects the Winter Plan details to be finalised over the coming days and published later this month.

A HSE review of last year’s Winter Plan was critical of the fact it was signed off too late for any meaningful recruitment of additional staff over the festive season. It recommended the 2018/2019 plan be signed off by June.

Mr Harris said he had asked the HSE “as part of its preparations for winter to focus its efforts on initiatives to enable the hospital setting to de-escalate before Christmas, including social care supports”.

Minister for Older People Jim Daly said they were keen to put initiatives in place to “provide older people with the type of care that they need and that it is delivered in the right place”.

He said his focus this year would be on delayed discharges, which a report found this week are primarily down to financial issues, lack of rehabilitation beds, and problems with Fair Deal and the administration of home care packages.

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