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Connacht Tribune

HSE staffing crisis sees home help money lying idle

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Galway families caring for loved ones and desperate to avail of the HSE’s home help service have been told that while the money is there, the staff are not.

In fact, for the ‘CHO 2’ (Community Healthcare Organisation) area which covers Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, there were 45,000 unused home care hours in the first three months of this year which had been paid for by the HSE, but no staff were available to carry out the hours.

At the moment, one in every four people in the country waiting for home help are in the CHO 2 area.

Speaking in the Dáil last week, Minister of State at the Department of Health, Jim Daly, said there are “capacity issues” and repeated his assertion that the current system is not fit for purpose.

He was told by Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy that he has had at least twelve families into his constituency office in tears because they have been unable to get home help.

“What is going on in the CHO 2 area with home care is shocking and appalling. I do not believe it is a staff issue,” said Deputy Murphy.

Minister Daly said there were ‘capacity issues’ relating to staff in the area.

“The overall budget for home support services for people living in the CHO 2 catchment area increased in 2017 and 2018 and is now just over €43 million. This funding will deliver more than 1.9 million home support hours.

“During the first three months of this year, 430,832 hours were delivered against a target of 475,893 hours, which is 45,000 hours below target.

“Some parts of the country, including CHO 2, are experiencing capacity issues relating to the availability of home care staff.

“I have been advised by the HSE that CHO 2 is working towards increasing capacity and is committed to providing its targeted hours by year end. With that in mind, CHO 2 is increasing its monthly spend on home support services to ensure delivery of full year service plan targets.

“I can assure the Deputy that there are not enough resources but the particular issue he is experiencing in his area is a capacity issue involving staff availability. It is the same in my area of west Cork, as I mentioned. There are 45,000 hours which have been paid for but not used in CHO 2, which is a management issue for the HSE to address. It has assured me that it will up the ante in that regard and spend every euro it has been given on home help by year end.

At the end of March, of the 6,458 older people waiting for home support nationwide, 1,482 were in the CHO 2 area.

Minister Daly told the Dáil: “I have stood over my commitment to bring about the scheme for home care to mirror the fair deal scheme and ensure people will be guaranteed access to the home care they require under statute, in a similar manner to the fair deal scheme, which we developed and which has grown and been committed to.

“Nobody has to wait for more four weeks under the commitments in the fair deal scheme. It is guaranteed by statute that everybody who wants to avail of it will get it and will not have to wait any more than four weeks.

“I want a similar scheme to be established to allow people to continue to live in their homes. I have put a timeline of two to three years on that and we are about nine or ten months into the process. It will take another two years to bring about the scheme and ensure it is delivered by statute and properly funded.

“The issues include the availability of staff to fill posts and their terms and conditions.

“I have said on the record that the current system is not fit for purpose and that is why I want to design a properly funded, equitable, fair, transparent and efficient service for home help,” said Minister Daly.

The home help service provides support to people who need assistance with everyday tasks because of illness or disability. The service is aimed at helping people in their own home and to avoid going in to long-term care.

Home helps provide assistance with washing, taking a shower, assistance with changing position, oral hygiene, or help at mealtimes. Domestic duties include lighting a fire or bringing in fuel if there is no alternative heating source, or essential cleaning of the person’s personal space.

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

 

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Country Living

A glimpse back to darker days when we turned on each other

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A photo taken in happier pre-civil war times on October 27, 1921, at the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins (centre) to Birdie Cole (centre front). O’Higgins is flanked to his right by Eamon de Valera and on his left by Rory O’Connor, the latter to be executed just over a year later on the orders of O’Higgins. Photo: Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of my regrets in childhood and younger life was that I never really got to know my ageing father. There was a rural way of life back through the 20th century where older farmers tended to marry younger women, one of the consequences being that by the time the youngest of the children had reached teenage years, their father would have slipped into old age.

It wasn’t all bad though and as a child, I’d hear first-hand stories of what times were like during The Troubles from the War of Independence through to the Civil War. My father wouldn’t always talk about it that often, but here and there, he’d mention tales of hiding behind walls when they’d hear the sound of Crossley Tenders – lightweight lorries which carried parties of Black-and-Tans across the country to ‘put manners’ on the restless natives.

Tales of guns and ambushes were quite frightening but also somewhat alluring yarns for a young lad of 11 or 12 summers as here and there, my father would mention that what followed on after the hated Black-and-Tans was even worse. He would recount tales from the Civil War and how even the closest of families were torn apart, depending on whether they were pro-Treaty or not.

He would point to a spot on a field where IRA members fired shots at the Free State-controlled railway station in Ballyglunin, or maybe a house where two brothers fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. As years passed, and elderly parents moved on, talks of the Tans and the Treaty faded, but of late with the 100th anniversary of so many awful events in 1922 now being recalled, curiosity again took hold.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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