Home care sector seeks financial stability from the Government to maintain frontline capacity amid Covid-19 threat

hcci chief executive

Self-isolations: up 163% among home care clients and 216% among carers since 18th March

Thursday 26 March 2020:  Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) is seeking financial stability from the HSE and Department of Health as the organisation and its members works to maximise capacity in home care so that it is available to those who need it most.  The organisation has outlined a number of challenges to continuum of care in the community:

  • Some carers are applying for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week if their client(s) self-isolates. This is due to the current policy of paying providers for only two days if a client self-isolates voluntarily or upon the advice of public health.  HCCI is proposing that the HSE funds all HCCI member companies for March and April to the budgeted level as per the HSE National Service Plan 2020 and Budget 2020.  HCCI members will thus invoice for their full roster of client hours in March and April, but this will not change the amount – c.€26M – already committed for this purpose.  By ensuring this cash flow to HCCI members, they can guarantee the income of their staff will be above the level of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and thus ensure they remain available to work.
  • As more and more cases of COVID-19 move into the community, a Government COVID-19 Carers payment of 12% should be awarded to companies to pay their staff who care for people with COVID-19. This should cost approximately €6.24M for March and April.
  • Government to fully fund all new home care packages as a result of COVID-19. This should be in addition to the stated 19.2M hours of home care budgeted for in 2020.

Joseph Musgrave, CEO, Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) said:

We appreciate the enormous challenge that the country is facing and HCCI wants to ensure that the home care sector can continue to play its crucial, frontline role in managing the Covid-19 threat.  Our industry has the infrastructure, expertise and motivation to play our part in this national emergency.  HCCI is available and willing to engage in robust COVID-19 planning with the HSE and Department of Health to cope with COVID-19 and the requirement to move people from hospital to the community as soon as possible.

Additional Information

HCCI members care for 17,000 clients who receive publicly funded home care through the HSE’s Home Support Scheme.  HCCI members care for approximately 3,000 clients privately.  To date:

  • 141 clients are self-isolating upon the advice of a medical professional. 2,336 clients of HCCI members are self-isolating voluntarily.  This is a total increase of 163% since Wednesday 18 March.
  • 340 carers are self-isolating upon the advice of a medical professional. 505 carers employed by HCCI members are self-isolating voluntarily.  180 carers are unable to work due to school closures.  This is total increase of 216% since Wednesday 18 March.
  • HCCI members employ 3,400 full time care staff and 9,500 part time care staff.
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