One million extra hours for homecare supports welcome – Butler

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler has welcomed the increase in homecare hours for 2020 announced in the Budget

“I am pleased that an increase has been achieved and I hope it will go some way towards meeting the demand that is out there for homecare. No doubt many Fine Gael TDs will be heading to the plinth to say that this was a reckless demand on our part but I make no apology for it”, said Deputy Butler

“Fine Gael has allowed a crisis in homecare supports to escalate over the past year, and the issue was always going to be a priority for us in Budget discussions. The service has been unable to keep pace with demand and we have seen a significant increase in the waiting lists as a result.

“Allied to this is the huge rise in delayed discharges in acute hospitals. It would have been reckless not to see action on this matter. I would have liked to have seen a bigger increase, but I am mindful of the overarching Brexit situation facing our country.

“Fianna Fáil has long believed that funding allocated to enable older people remain at home provides not only the best value for money but also reflects the wishes of most older people and their families.

“The Home Care Package was introduced in 2006 when Fianna Fáil was in government and it remains an extremely important part of our health service. The government’s own Health Service Capacity Review anticipates an increase in demand of some 120% by 2031. Today’s announcement is a modest step on the road to meeting that.”

As part of Positive Aging Week it was a pleasure to welcome Fr O Byrne PP with constituents from Ballyduff, Kilmeaden, Butlerstown and Stradbally to Leinster House. Many thanks to my PA Patricia Lyons who organised a tour of the Dail, followed by Leaders Questions and lunch. An enjoyable day was had and for many it was a first visit to Leinster House. Mary Butler TD

Constructive and very positive meeting with Minister Harris with good news on 3 fronts. Firstly €300,000 has been allocated to the Waterford Hospice to make the final preparations to open, recruitment of staff will begin within 2 weeks and Budget 2020 will include the full cost of €4.8 to fund this fantastic facility.
Secondly tenders are due back today for the build of the new mortuary with a timeline of 9-12 months for completion.
Thirdly we were informed the planning application for the second Cath Lab would be submitted by the end of October with construction to begin next year. In relation to the National Review the Minister expects it to be completed by the end of the year and a decision in relation to extended PPCI hours will then be made.
The key word here now is delivery.
— Mary Butler TD

Butler welcomes decision to retain Garda Divisional HQ in Waterford

Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler has welcomed the announcement this evening that the divisional headquarters for the new Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow division is being retained in Waterford.

Deputy Butler said, “I’m glad that common sense has prevailed and that the decision has been taken not to move the divisional headquarters out of Waterford city.

“Waterford is the 5th busiest station in the country and with the population of the county expected to grow by 30,000 over the next 20 years, it makes sense to base the divisional headquarters in the city.

“I raised this issue directly with the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at the Oireachtas Justice Committee last week and I am pleased that my concerns were taken on board and welcome the confirmation from An Garda Síochána this evening.

Winter of discontent looming for people waiting on Home Care Supports

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Shockingly Waterford showed the highest increase from 31 persons waiting in March to 124 waiting at the end of July, which is a 300% increase.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler TD is warning of a winter of discontent for people waiting for home care supports. New data has revealed that the waiting list for these supports has jumped by 18% in four months.
Figures released to the Waterford TD show that the waiting list increased from 6,238 at the end of March to 7,346 in July.
Deputy Butler said, “These figures are enormously disappointing, as they show the extent of the unmet need nationwide. The importance of home help supports cannot be underestimated – without them people are forced into lengthy stays in hospital, despite being well enough to be discharged, or be moved into a nursing or retirement home rather than being allowed stay in their own home.
“While the figures 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.
“The government has talked a good game about keeping older people in their home for as long as possible, but unless home support hours are provided on time, there is sometimes no alternative for families but to place their loved one in a nursing home.
“People could be left waiting for months on end before the required supports are provided. This could mean that vulnerable older people are being left in hospital, despite the fact that they are ready for discharge. We have also seen the numbers of delayed discharges shoot up.
“This is totally counterproductive, not only from a cost point of view, but is also frustrating for the older person concerned. We know that older people who are supported to stay in their home do better and live healthier and happier lives.
“The government needs to wake up to the importance of funding for home care supports. The appropriate resources must be allocated to the HSE and ensure that people needing home help supports can access them in a timely manner.”

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Supporting school secretary’s this morning outside Newtown School, in their quest for equal pay, terms and conditions that other secretary’s receive. A secretary’s role in any school is so important, dealing with parents, children, teachers, communities, from school lunches forgotten, first aid, school trips, school books, insurance the list is endless.

Delayed Discharges Surge Over Summer Months – Butler

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Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler, says that the number of delayed discharges in hospitals has surged over the summer months rising from 599 in June to 672 in July and to 734 at the end of August.

A patient is categorised as a delayed discharge when they no longer require care in an acute hospital setting but have no access to an appropriate step-down care facility.

Commenting the Waterford TD said, “I have no doubt that the crisis in both the Fair Deal and the provision of Home Help is having a major role in this. It has always been clear to me that the restrictions on home care for older people would put further pressure on acute hospital services as the restrictions will exacerbate the problem of delayed discharges.

“It is no coincidence that the INMO have just recorded the worst ever July and August for overcrowding in our hospitals.

“Delayed discharges have a very significant impact on the number of people left lying on trolleys in our Emergency Departments. If beds are occupied by patients who should in fact be cared for in another facility, it’s impossible for ED staff who are already working.

“Older people want to be in their own homes with the correct wrap around supports, and not languishing in a hospital bed simply because the correct step down facilities are not available, while hospitals and medical staff throughout the country struggle with continuous overcrowding and patients lying on trolleys, some in excess of 24 hours,” she concluded.