Home Care Waiting List Could be Wiped Out at the Stroke of Pen says HCCI

Press release

Home care waiting list could be wiped out at the stroke of pen says HCCI

Dublin, 12 January 2023: The 6,000 long waiting list for home care support, which is a contributor to the hospital and delayed discharge crisis, could be wiped out instantly if home care workers were permitted to take on more hours say Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI). The organisation that represents private home care providers is calling on Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys to permit a temporary suspension of social welfare earning thresholds to allow home carers work just three more hours per week without losing social welfare benefits.

Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI said, “By simply allowing 6,000 home care workers (half of the 12,000 carers employed in private sector) to take on three additional hours of work per week would provide 1 million more home care hours this year (18k hours per week). In essence that would provide care for all those people on the waiting list for home care – older and vulnerable people who need support to stay living in the safety and comfort of their own homes and communities. These are people who have been assigned funding for home care but are waiting on a carer to provide home care support. With a simple stroke of the Minister’s pen the waiting list would be wiped out! In addition, if the Government were to action this there would be no recruitment crisis in home care and furthermore the Government would be able to meet its home care targets this year.”

“It is mind boggling that people are languishing on hospital trolleys awaiting a bed while people who are well enough to be discharged and return home await home care support. If home care workers could work three more hours each week without risk of losing their medical card or social welfare payments this serious problem would be resolved.”

“We know from speaking to our members that home care workers are willing to take on additional hours. So, the capacity and willingness are there – its up to the Minister now to make it happen and give older and more vulnerable people the support they need to stay living in their own homes.”

HCCI is also calling for ‘Home Care Right Now’ – Minister Butler’s department to deliver the statutory home care scheme this year as promised.

Musgrave explained, “We need the Department of Health and HSE to develop the right home care scheme that works for everyone – clients, carers and home care providers. We need everyone to have the right to care in their own home and we need it right now. Too much time has already been wasted.”