Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Health
Home Care Packages
2645. To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties of those in need of home care packages; if his attention has further been drawn to the difficulties many have in sourcing these packages and that many of the packages granted are for less hours than would be appropriate to the need; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact this shortfall in hours is being decided on the basis of resources available rather than on the need; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38599/21]
Home supports enable older people to remain in their own homes and communities, as well as facilitating timely discharge from hospital. Since 2018 the funding for home help and standard home care packages has operated as a single home support service.
We have made improved access to home support services a priority. In 2021 an additional investment of €150 million has been made available to fund over 24.2 million hours of home support and to support the roll out of the inteRAI standard assessment tool and the establishment of a National Home Support Office. This is 5 million hours more than the 2020 target and represents an unprecedented level of investment and a substantial increase in service provision. Due to the effects of the cyberattack the most recent complete data available represents the period to the end of March 2021. As of this date there were 54,112 people in receipt of home support and almost 4.7 million hours had been delivered across the country. At the time there were 1,601 people waiting for approval for funding for new or additional service, compared to 7,295 people waiting in March 2020.
As this Parliamentary Question relates to an operational issue, it is a matter for the HSE. However, members of the Oireachtas are advised that the HSE is currently unable to access the information to answer Parliamentary Questions due to the recent cyber-attack, which has required a temporary shut-down of HSE IT systems. The disruption to service is on-going, and the HSE is working hard to restore its IT capacity and resume normal services. Members of the Oireachtas will be advised as soon as the HSE is again in a position to provide responses to PQs and are encouraged to resubmit their Parliamentary Questions at that point.