Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1261)

Brendan Smith


1261. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Health if specific additional funding will be provided to the HSE to provide additional home support in counties Cavan and Monaghan in view of the delays in providing such support in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36405/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The 2019 National Service Plan 2019 provides for 17.9m home support hours to be delivered to 53,000 and Intensive Home Care Packages delivered to approximately 235 people with approximately 360,000 hours delivered in the full year.

As at 30 June 2019,

- there were 51,896 people in receipt of home support (4,033 in CHO 1) and 233 in receipt of an Intensive Home Care Package (9 in CHO 1).

- 8,591,543 home support hours have been provided nationally with 844,226 hours provided in CHO 1 and a further 24,126 hours through the IHCPs.

Despite the significant level of service provision, the demand for Home Support continues to grow as the population aged over 65 years’ increases. All those waiting are assessed and provided with a service, if appropriate, as soon as possible having regard to their assessed needs. In addition, people being discharged from acute hospitals, who are in a position to return home with supports, are prioritised. As of 30 June 2019, 7,217 people nationally were waiting for funding for a home support service. The numbers on the waiting list reflect a point in time and those people who are on the waiting list are reviewed, as funding becomes available, to ensure that individual cases continue to be dealt with on a priority basis within the available resource and as determined by local front line staff who know and understand the clients’ needs. If clients are assessed and approved for home support and funding is not immediately available, these cases are included on the waiting list for funding. The level of activity and associated costs in relation to home support is monitored on an on-going basis by the HSE.

The level of funding available for my Department for next year is being considered as part of the national Estimates and budgetary process which is currently underway. Pending completion of this process it is not appropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

The Department is currently engaged in a detailed process to develop a new stand-alone, statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home support services. Developing a new statutory scheme will be an important step in ensuring that the system operates in a consistent and fair manner for all those who need home support services. The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to the introduction of the new scheme in 2021.