Denis Naughten TD has called on the HSE to reverse its callous cuts to home help services throughout the country in light of the fact that it has only yielded a paltry €1.3m out of its revised target of €8m after 2 ½ months. With only 6 weeks to go until the end of the financial year, it is now clear that the saving of €8m will not be achieved by the slashing of home help hours. To date thousands of older people and people with a disability have seen their home help hours arbitrarily reduced, sometimes with little advance notice, causing huge distress to the individuals and their families.
What is really frustrating is the fact that these cuts have a huge administrative cost involving a review of cases by public health nurses, and the need to contact persons who are losing important home help supports by phone & letter.
“So the net saving to the HSE is minimal, and probably a net loss when one considers the impact that it may have on other services such as A&E etc. Is it any wonder the HSE is looking for a further €300m in a top up from Government before the end of the year?”
Naughten continued by insisting that they cut to existing home help recipients must immediately be reviewed, and a stall put to any further cuts to vulnerable recipients. “Furthermore, the Minister should immediately seek a detailed explanation from the HSE as to why they targeted home help cuts when it is highly evident that it would not, in any way, achieve its target, instead causing huge fear to those being supported in remaining in their own homes. This issue raises fundamental questions regarding the competency of the HSE to set targets, let alone its ability to actually deliver these savings.” concluded Denis Naughten.