Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister for Older People Jim Daly have welcomed the allocation of an additional 550 additional home care packages over the winter period.
The Health Service Executive has commenced a range of measures to support older people’s transition from acute care before Christmas and into the new year.
These measures include additional home care packages, aids and appliances and transitional care.
Minister Harris said: “I had asked the HSE as part of its preparations for winter to focus its efforts on initiatives to enable the hospital setting to de-escalate before Christmas, including social care supports.
“The introduction of 550 additional home care packages, additional transitional care beds and €4 million for aids and appliances will assist older people get home from hospital before Christmas and into the new year.”
This is one of a number of initiatives being taken by the health service as it enters a difficult period. The Department of Health expects the details of the winter plan to be finalised over the coming days and published later this month.
Minister Daly said “I continue to strive to ensure that initiatives are put in place to provide older people with the type of care that they need and that it is delivered in the right place.
“Older people tell us they wish to be supported in their own communities. This additional investment in social and community care measures will support this objective in the winter ahead.
“I will be focusing this winter on the issue of delayed discharges and ensuring that social care measures, including the investment in home support, assist people to return home as quickly as possible.
“Hospitals provide vital services but they are not always the most appropriate location for care to take place and we must strive to provide care closer to home.”