SIPTU supports a decision of the Emergency Department Taskforce to ensure Home Helps have a minimum of 30 minutes with each client in which essential care can be provided.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “The SIPTU Home Helps campaign for additional hours and the full utilisation of their existing contracted hours has succeded in securing this key improvement for clients.
“This move will allow hospitals to successfully discharge more patients, assured that they will be provided with a proper standard of care in the community. If this decision had been made prior to Christmas it would have reduced the impact of overcrowding in our hospital network.”
Paul Bell also called for further action to end the practice by some private nursing home operators of “cherry-picking” patients for accommodation and requesting additional fees for admission.
He said: “This issue has developed due to successive governments failing to invest in public nursing home faculties. This has allowed private sector providers to gain a monopoly position which some are now abusing by selecting patients and levying addition charges.”
The decision to allow Home Helps a minimum of 30 minutes with patients was made at a meeting of the Emergency Department Taskforce in Dr. Steeven’s Hospital, Dublin, this afternoon (2nd February).
The taskforce comprises relevant stakeholders including senior doctors, lead hospital consultants, HSE National Directors, union representatives and senior officials from the HSE Acute Hospitals Directorate and the Department of Health.
Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, convened the Taskforce on 22nd December 2014, to find long-term solutions to the issue of hospital overcrowding.