DUBLIN, Ireland - Over the past four years the Irish government has overseen a considerable increase of nearly €140 million in the Home Supports budget, which has grown from €306 million in 2015 to almost €446 million this year.
The 2019 Health Service Executive National Service Plan provides for more than 18 million home support hours to be delivered this year to over 53,000 people. This includes Intensive Home Care Packages, aimed primarily at supporting people with dementia, for about 235 people who will benefit from 360,000 hours of support in 2019.
Arrangements for home supports have developed over the years with a significant local focus although the government acknowledges there may be a variation of the level of access to services in different parts of the country. There is also a considerable demand for home support services over and above existing service levels.
The Health Service Executive says it has assured the department that those people who are on a 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 resources, and as determined by the local front line staff who know and understand the clients’ needs, and who undertake regular reviews of those care needs to ensure that the services being provided remain appropriate.
"We are aiming to improve home support services so that people can remain living with confidence, dignity and security in their own homes. While the existing service is delivering crucial support across the country, it is recognised that home support services need to be augmented to better meet the changing needs of our older population," the Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly said Tuesday.
"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. This is a key action under the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy and will improve access to home support services. The Sláintecare Action Plan 2019 also sets out a very significant programme of work aimed at developing and improving health and social care generally, with a significant emphasis on increased community-based supports," the minister said.