Friday 27th January: Family Carers Ireland has today welcomed Deputy O’ Dea’s Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill, which was discussed in the Dáil last night. The Bill proposes that, where an applicant is approved for the Fair Deal scheme, the alternative of home care services should be made available, where such home care services are determined to be less costly to the state than the proposed long-term residential care. While the proposed amendment met with broad cross-party support, it has been deferred for 6 months in light of Minister McEntee’s recent announcement of a consultation process on a statutory entitlement to home care. The motion was approved last night to have the Bill read in the House again in six months or, if the Dáil will then be in recess, at a session before its break.
Family Carers Ireland spokesperson Catherine Cox stated: “We warmly welcome Minister McEntee’s launch of a consultation process on the establishment of a new statutory home care scheme. We have lobbied for many years for such a scheme, and look forward to engagement on it. We do, however, acknowledge that this process will take significant time in order to ensure that what results is a fit-for-purpose scheme. In the interim we are calling for additional funding to be directed towards home care provision as a matter of urgency, in order to ensure that families’ access to home care supports do not remain unreliable and inequitable, as is the case at the moment.
“We look forward to working with the Minister, her department and the opposition parties over the coming months on developing a new community-based model of care that gives a statutory, demand-led entitlement to home care services for people of all ages.”