McNulty renews call to abolish 15-minute call

Posted by
Monday, December 11th, 2017

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has renewed his call for the end of 15-minute Home Help Calls for those who need care in the community.

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “This week we have again heard pleas for help from those on the front line who care for the most vulnerable in our community.



“Care workers have described how they are stretched far beyond the limit and how the system is at breaking point. This is something I have warned about. There are delays in getting packages in place; there is a shortage of staff entering the profession and the Department of Health aren’t adequately resourcing the service, both in house and for the private sector.

“In the Southern Trust area alone there are 5,728 individual care packages in place which have cost almost £110Million over the last three years. Across the North 13 million hours of care are being provided to residents in their home each year, and yet, a staggering 43% of those calls are for only 15 minutes. This is astonishing and is no way to offer care with dignity and compassion.

He continued, “I fear this is only scratching the surface of the problem and the system will collapse. We need a fundamental review of how we care for our loved ones in the community. Back in 2015 the Department of Health in London announced that it would phase out 15 minute calls.



“Two years later 43% percent of calls here are for 15 minutes whilst in England and Wales this number is falling. In the Republic of Ireland there are no 15 minute calls, with 30% for 30 minutes and 70% are one-hour long visits.

“If we are to give our citizens who need care in the community, many of whom are elderly and often gravely ill, care with dignity and compassion then we need to make changes and make them fast.

“Anyone who has any sense of the care and attention that someone ill at home needs, will quickly realise that 15 minutes is not good enough, and in some cases could even be considered as humiliating for those people being cared for.

“And for the carers who work in the sector, they too need to be valued and appreciated. At present the system is haemorrhaging staff. Many capable people are leaving the profession for the hospitality and catering sectors, feeling undervalued and believing there is no job certainty and little career progression available to them.



“Those who work in the industry need invested in, they need valued and they need financially rewarded for the work they do.

McNulty added, “We have seen the impact of the failure to plan for the future staffing needs in other parts of the health care system. I fear this will be the next big crisis facing our health system if not grasped and addressed soon. This crisis needs addressed and needs addressed urgently.”


Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in