Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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184. To ask the Minister for Health the number of home support hours required in the future to meet the recommendations of the health service capacity review in view of the additional home support hours announced in budget 2020. [44031/19]

Photo of Jim DalyJim Daly (Cork South West, Fine Gael)
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The Health Service Capacity Review 2018, published in January, outlines projections of demand and capacity requirements for a range of health services to 2031. As our population, particularly our older population continues to grow, key projections from the analysis indicate, for the period 2016-2021

- 12% growth in overall population;

- 59% growth in 65+ population; and

- 95% growth in 85+ population.

The review notes that if key reforms and productivity measures are implemented, a 120% increase in home supports will be required by 2031.

In line with commitments given in the Programme for Government we have made improved access to home support services a priority in Budget 2020. An additional investment of €52 million is being made in 2020 which will provide over 19.2 million hours of home support. This is 1 million hours more than the 2019 target and represents a substantial increase in service provision.  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, at the beginning and end of the year, to ensure more timely egress from hospital for older people.

While the existing home support service is delivering crucial support to many people across the country, it needs to be improved to better meet the changing needs of our citizens.   The Department of Health is currently developing plans for a new statutory scheme and system of regulation for home support services for older people and adults with a disability. Included in this investment is dedicated funding for the testing of the new statutory home-support scheme in 2020. 

The design of the new scheme will involve the establishment of a model of service with a streamlined central system of administration to improve and simplify how people access home-support services. While the administration of the scheme will be centralised, the delivery of services will be co-ordinated at local level in line with a person’s assessed need. A core component of the Scheme and the testing phase will be the implementation of InterRAI, as the standardised assessment tool for determining need under the new scheme.


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