Monday 14 October 2019

More than 7,000 'vulnerable people' waiting for homecare


Clear issues with people not being able to access support. Stock image
Clear issues with people not being able to access support. Stock image
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The waiting list for HSE homecare has risen to 7,346 over the summer - up from 6,238 in March - new figures reveal.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on older people Mary Butler, who obtained the figures, said while "they are deeply worrying, they are not surprising".

"There were clear issues emerging over the summer with vulnerable people not being able to access home care supports," she said.

It comes after another day of severe overcrowding in several hospitals across the country, with 534 waiting for a bed yesterday.

A total of 81 patients were on trolleys in Limerick yesterday morning, the third time this year the record has been matched.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said more than 1,000 patients had been forced to wait on trolleys in University Hospital Limerick this month - already the worst September on record for the hospital, with a week still remaining.

There were 62 patients on trolleys in Cork University Hospital and 36 in need of a bed in University Hospital Waterford.

A spokesman for University Hospital Limerick said that among the reasons for the long waits for admission were high patient volumes, a significant proportion of whom required isolation.

It does not have adequate isolation facilities and this affects patient flow.

National funding has been released in recent days to patients to step-down care, but the spokesman said they "remain above average with 34 delayed discharges".

All available surge capacity is currently in use and appropriate patients are currently being transferred to Ennis, Nenagh and St John's hospitals.

Irish Independent

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