January 18, 2022
Business News

‘Shocking’ number of people in Kilkenny left without carers

The Government has been urged to “act urgently” to increase the number of carers in Kilkenny and neighbouring Carlow.

The call was made by local Sinn Féin TD for Kathleen Funchion after she said new figures revealed “shocking numbers of people” locally have been left without carers.

Figures released to the Carlow-Kilkenny TD reveal almost 5,000 people across the state are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them despite already being approved.

Of these, 1,561 are living in the CHO 5 area, which covers Kilkenny and Carlow.

Deputy Funchion said: “Figures released to Sinn Féin by the HSE in response to a parliamentary question expose a growing crisis when it comes to homecarers in Ireland.

“In total 1,561 people have been approved for a carer in CHO 5 area, which includes Carlow and Kilkenny , but despite this have not been allocated a carer due to severe shortages. Almost 5,000 people are in this unacceptable situation across the state.”

The Kilkenny TD described the current situation as “unacceptable”. She added: “Sinn Féin has been warning for many years now of a looming crisis within the homecare system, as too many people who require homecare aren’t getting the hours that they need. This crisis has spiralled during the pandemic, yet the government has consistently failed to properly plan and put contingencies in place.

“Behind every statistic are real lives and real people who are being let down by the state. People with disabilities and older people should have every right to lead full, independent lives and receive sufficient support from the state to meet their needs.”

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) urged the Government to engage with private and community and voluntary homecare providers “to incentivise the progression of the terms and conditions they offer their staff and bring them into line with those employed directly by the HSE”.

And she added: “I am also calling on the government to reintroduce priority PCR testing for healthcare staff, including homecare workers, as well as relax the income and working hours limits for part-time homecare workers in receipt of social welfare payments to quickly introduce additional capacity to the homecare sector.

“This situation is not good enough for people here in Carlow Kilkenny and across the state. The government must stop burying their head in the sand on this issue and finally prioritise people with disabilities to ensure they get the support they deserve.”

 

 

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