369 people were waiting for home care packages in the Western Trust at the start of last month

Over three hundred people were waiting for domiciliary care packages in the Western Trust at the start of last month.

In total 369 people were waiting on June 6, 2022.

There were 261 citizens awaiting a ‘full assessed care package’ with a further 108 waiting for a ‘part assessed care package’.

Health Minister Robin Swann revealed the backlog in response to an Assembly Question.

Robin Swann

He said: “I will continue to support the domiciliary care sector in their attempts to meet the current demand for packages of care in the community. The local HSC Trusts are promoting Direct Payments as an alternative to traditional packages of care and we would encourage as many people as possible in the community to avail of this option.”

Mr. Swann pointed to how last November he rolled out a package of up to £23m for the independent domiciliary and wider social care sector.

“This additional funding has been provided with the expectation that providers will not only maintain current service levels, but increase capacity and be in a position to reach out particularly into rural areas. Covid-19 related and non Covid-19 related absences throughout the pandemic have been a challenge for all domiciliary care providers.

“The demand for domiciliary care has increased as well as the complexity of need of service users. Recently fuel cost increases have put additional pressures on the domiciliary care sector. Providers operate rolling recruitment exercises to fill workforce vacancies,” he said.