Improving access to home support remains a priority for Government. Over the past four years we have seen a considerable increase of nearly €140 million in the budget which has grown from €306 million in 2015 to almost €446 million this year.
In 2019, the HSE intends to provide 17.9 million home support hours to 53,000 people and a further 360,000 hours of support through intensive home care packages to 235 people. Up to the end of April, about 5.6 million home support hours were delivered nationally.
In 2019, additional funding has been made available to CHO Dublin North City and County in order to provide 2,813,000 home support hours, an increase of 54,824 hours on last year.
Despite this significant level of service provision, the demand for home support continues to grow. In the first four months of this year some 5,761 new clients commenced receipt of home support.
I acknowledge that in some cases access to the service may take longer than we would like.
I recently met with senior HSE management and representatives from CHO management on the issue of home support. Through this engagement, I have been provided with reassurance that the HSE will meet its service plans targets this year with respect to home support services.