TD furious as waiting list for carers in Cork tops 650

Figures released by the HSE to Sinn Féin spokesperson on disability and Carers Pauline Tully show that almost 5,000 people nationwide are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them, with 651 of these living in Cork.
TD furious as waiting list for carers in Cork tops 650

Cork East TD Pat Buckley said the figures exposed the shortage of homecarers in Cork. Picture: Pexels

SOME 651 people in Cork are currently waiting for a carer to be allocated to them, despite receiving approval.

Figures released by the HSE to Sinn Féin spokesperson on disability and Carers Pauline Tully show that almost 5,000 people nationwide are waiting for a carer to be allocated to them, with 651 of these living in Cork.

Cork East TD Pat Buckley said the figures exposed the shortage of homecarers in Cork.

He has called on the Government to act urgently to ensure carers are available to assist people who need home support.

“This is unacceptable. This situation is not good enough for people in Cork and across the State. The Government must finally prioritise people with disabilities to ensure they get the support they deserve,” he said.

“Behind every statistic are real lives and real people who are being let down by the State.

“Sinn Féin has been warning for many years 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. 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.

“In response to a parliamentary question from Deputy Pauline Tully, the Government acknowledged that ‘factors, such as the contracts of employment on offer, and employment terms and conditions being offered are a factor in the recruitment challenges faced by the sector’.”

Mr Buckley said the Government needed to “incentivise” the terms it offered staff, along with implementing other measures.

“I am calling on 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.

“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.”

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