Home care cuts condemned

The news that home care packages in Co. Roscommon are being slashed has been condemned.

  It has reported over the past week that HSE managers were instructed to limit these packages by a third because of budgetary issues.

  The HSE said: “Measures were put in place for home care packages in March 2016, with the aim of bringing our expenditure back in line with our budget and our service plan targets for Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.”

  However, local Independent councillor Laurence Fallon described the cutbacks as “false economy”.

  “It’s the old story…if they are overbudget and they have to bring a range of measures in place, which is always the case with the HSE,” he said.

  “But it certainly isn’t wise in my opinion…taking funding away from home care packages, because they are the most economically efficient way of looking after old elderly people.

  “I would see it as false economy. You are saving a few shillings in home care packages, but you are actually creating a situation where people who need care will find themselves in long-stay nursing homes sooner.

  “That creates a further cost to the State.”

  All studies show elderly people prefer to live independently, Cllr. Fallon said.

  The HSE said that it would monitor the ‘cutbacks’ being implemented and that a review would take place later in the year.

  “We will continue to work with the Saolta Hospital Group in ensuring that discharges from hospitals are co-ordinated as quickly and efficiently as possible,” the HSE added.