Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Department of Health
Home Help Service Provision
444. To ask the Minister for Health when the 1 million extra home care hours announced in budget 2020 will commence; his views on the fact that the waiting list is causing undue hardship for the elderly and frail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42145/19]
The Government has made improved access to home support services a priority. We have committed to an additional investment of €52 million in Budget 2020 to bring the total funding for home supports to €487 million in 2020.
In 2020 the HSE will deliver over 19.2 million hours of home support, representing a substantial increase of 1 million hours more than this year’s target. This investment is focused on enabling older people to remain at home and, as appropriate, provision of hours will also be targeted at times of peak demand in Winter 2020, at the beginning and end of the year, to ensure more timely egress from hospital for our older citizens.
The Department of Health is engaging extensively with the HSE in the context of planning for winter, including consideration of the response to dealing with current challenges, including delayed transfers of care. Funding is being made available to assist with managing those challenges including by providing further egress options in the form of transitional care, Nursing Homes Support Scheme funding and home support. Engagement will continue over the coming weeks having regard to the HSE’s National Service Planning 2020 process.