THE biggest challenge facing the home help service in West Cork is not the financial one, but getting people to deliver the service, Minister of State Jim Daly told the Dáil.
‘If we had all the money in the world in the morning, we would need to get the people to provide service,’ he said.
‘I recently concluded a consultation with the public to hear its views on setting up a fair deal-type scheme, underpinned by statute, that would guarantee the delivery of home help hours and the appropriate training, and require a requisite number of staff to provide the service. That will take two to three years to bring about, bearing in mind that the Fair Deal scheme itself took seven to eight years to introduce.We are working and making a lot of progress towards that.’
Cork North-West Deputy Michael Moynihan said there is now a chronic crisis in the sector right across the country, particularly in areas of Cork.
Home help organiser posts are not being filled, he said, and this is leading to a chronic backlog that dates right back to the end of June.
‘No extra home help has been given to patients who have been discharged,’ he said. ‘In cases where patients are waiting to be discharged, the government should put a proper homecare package in place. It makes no economic sense to do what is now being done because it is costing the State on the other side. We need to be very realistic.’