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29 May 2022

Longford home care staff are ‘at breaking point’, says Murtagh

Garry Murtagh

Fine Gael Cllr Garry Murtagh

Cllr Garry Murtagh acknowledged with optimism the Healthy Age Homes Programme, presentation from the programme co-ordinator Mary Carey and welcomed her support of the elderly and most vulnerable in our community, at the recent Granard Municipal District meeting.

He highlighted his concerns following on from his notice of motion in November 2021, where he says the people of rural Ireland and in particular north Longford are being treated on a different parity to urban dwellers.

Cllr Murtagh outlined that people that leave the care of the hospital are assured when they arrive home that the help they need will be provided.

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“This could not be further from the truth,” he said.

“The stark reality is the local health nurses and their staff are at breaking point. The private agencies are not fit for purpose and are not fulfilling the roles and duties they are prescribed to do.

“To be informed at this meeting that the HSE are paying private agencies €65 per hour and in turn these agencies are paying €10 an hour to their staff with no expenses to cover travel is disgraceful and it’s no wonder the system is at breaking point. Staff cannot be retained in this sector and who could blame them.

“I received a response to my notice of motion submitted to Longford County Council in November 2021, from the Minister for Health’s office outlining the millions to be invested in home support hours in Budget 2021/22 as part of the National service plan process.

“I fear the supports needed won’t reach the most needy and vulnerable in our society, rural Ireland. I believe the Minister needs to roll up his selves and hold these private agencies to account, regarding the retaining and treatment of staff. The situation is becoming dangerously unstable and it will only be a matter of time before there is a fatality through the neglect of the Ministers department in the managing of these inflated, inefficient private agencies,” he concluded.

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