McNulty renews call to abolish 15-minute call | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

McNulty renews call to abolish 15-minute call

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.”


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Posted by on Dec 11 2017. Filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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