'We're heading for 400,000 shortfall in home help hours' - Waterford TD

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

Waterford TD Mary Butler has said new information released to Fianna Fáil shows that home support hours provided to date in 2019 are running behind target.

"If that trend continues for the rest of the year, fewer than half of the 800,000 extra hours promised in 2019 will be delivered."

Butler, the party's spokesperson on older people, said: “HSE figures provided to Fianna Fáil show that home support hours fell far short of target – by over 160,000 hours in the first five months of the year. That’s 2.2% behind what was meant to be provided."

“This may not seem like a massive shortfall, but if it continues throughout the year then there is no way that the 800,000 extra hours pledged in the 2019 HSE Service Plan can be delivered."

“It also appears that the number of people receiving home care is less than what was promised in the Plan – at 52,382, this is 618 fewer than the HSE commitment."

“The shortfall in both the number of hours provided and the number of people in receipt of home support is entirely in keeping with the recent reports of restrictions on home help hours. At a time when the demand for services continues to grow and waiting lists have become a feature, Fine Gael has allowed the closure of home support hours to new applicants until next November."

“These figures also fly in the face of Minister Harris’s briefing that ‘all hours committed to under the service plan will be delivered.'"

“More than 6,300 people are waiting for services, and with the sort of delivery we have seen so far in 2019, I would not be surprised if the waiting list increased further,” concluded Deputy Butler.