The Home Help ‘crisis’ in Donegal is said to be getting worse, with no new hours available to patients unless they are recycled from others.
Donegal Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has hit out at the Department of Health over the issue, where patients have been unable to go home due to a lack of available supports.
Deputy Gallagher said he has learned that the only available hours for new patients on the scheme have to come from existing hours, which arise when other patients have died or no longer need the service.
This, along with the recruitment freeze in the HSE, is leading to delayed discharges and a reduced capacity of beds in hospitals, the TD said.
Deputy Gallagher said: “With effectively no new home help hours available within Donegal, this crisis is leading to beds in our hospitals being held up longer due to patients being unable to go back to their homes, due to the lack of available supports.
“I raised this issue previously, when on that occasion I was informed that it takes typically 14 weeks to avail of your approved Home Help Package, now it transpires that in effect there are no home help hours available, unless the hours are made available by means of the death of another patient and his or her hours are reallocated.”
“I am at a loss as to what is actually happening between the Department of Health, Government and the HSE, as on each occasion I raise this issue of home help hours in the Dáil; the Government touts the line of the increased hours, which they have allocated year on year, but in reality and on the ground little or no extra hours have been available for those that either have been provisionally approved help, or those that are awaiting home help,” added Pat the Cope.
The Donegal Deputy is calling on the Government to “get their act together” and come up with the necessary solutions for the worsening crisis.