‘Shocking’ shortage of home carers

Kerrane hits out at ‘shocking’ homecarers shortage

Over 600 people in counties Roscommon and Galway are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them – despite having already been approved for the service.

  The revelation supports ongoing anecdotal claims in recent months of a growing crisis in terms of availability of homecarers.

  Roscommon-Galway Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane says figures released to her party by the HSE expose a “shocking shortage” of homecarers in this constituency.

  Deputy Kerrane has called on the Government to act urgently to ensure carers are available to assist those who need home support.

  The Roscommon TD said figures released to Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers Pauline Tully TD by the HSE, have exposed that almost 5,000 people across the State are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them – despite being approved. Of these, 638 are living in the Community Healthcare Area (CHO) for Roscommon and Galway.

   “In total, 638 people have been approved for a carer in CHO area 2, which includes Roscommon and Galway, but have not been allocated a carer due to severe shortages. Almost 5,000 people are in this unacceptable situation across the State” she said.

  “Behind every statistic are real lives and real people who are being let down by the State. People with disabilities and older people should have every right to lead full, independent lives and receive sufficient support from the State to meet their needs”.

  Responding to a parliamentary question from Deputy Pauline Tully, the Government acknowledged that factors such as contracts of employment, and employment terms and conditions, are posing recruitment challenges within the sector.

  “I am calling on the Government to engage with private and community and voluntary homecare providers to incentivise the progression of the terms and conditions they offer their staff and bring them into line with those employed directly by the HSE,” said Deputy Kerrane, who also called for the reintroduction of priority PCR testing for healthcare staff.