November 8, 2022
Shocking increase in the number of people left waiting for much-needed care – Pauline Tully TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers, Pauline Tully TD, has called on the government to act urgently to ensure carers are available to assist people who need home support, after new figures revealed a shocking growth in the numbers of people across the state who have been left waiting for much-needed care.

Figures released to Teachta Tully by the HSE, have exposed that 6,255 people across the state are waiting a carer to be allocated to them despite being approved. This figure was approximately 5,000 at the start of this year.

Commenting on the figures, Teachta Tully said:

“Figures released to me by the HSE in response to a parliamentary question expose a growing crisis when it comes to home carers in Ireland.

“6,255 people are in this unacceptable situation across the state. 

“This is intolerable. Sinn Féin has been warning for many years now of a looming crisis within the homecare system. Too many people requiring homecare are not receiving the hours that they need. This crisis has gotten much worse since the start of the year when this figure was approximately 5,000.

“The government has consistently failed to properly plan and put contingencies in place.

“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.

“In response to parliamentary questions I submitted, the government acknowledged that ‘the demand for Home Support… has grown considerably over the past number of years. [And that] ‘factors, such as the contracts of employment on offer and employment terms and conditions being offered are a factor in the recruitment challenges faced by the sector’. (See links below to PQ 56100/21 & PQ 47932/22)

“At the same time as the list of those approved but still awaiting home care support is growing these parliamentary questions have reveals that the HSE are employing over 1,000 home care support assistants than they were in 2017. (See link below to PQ 47933/22) 

“I am calling again 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.

“I am also calling on the government to relax the income and working hours limits for part-time home care workers in receipt of social welfare payments to quickly introduce additional capacity to the homecare sector.

“This situation is not good enough for people who need these services. The government must stop burying their head in the sand on this issue and finally prioritise people with disabilities to ensure they get the support they deserve.”

The Parliamentary Question Responses can be read here:

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