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Rural areas most in need of domiciliary care packages - Mc Aleer
Published: 31 October, 2016
Declan Mc Aleer MLA and Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald who met senior Western Trust officials to discuss domiciliary care in rural areas.
West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has said that vulnerable people in the most isolated rural areas are being hardest hit by the shortage of domiciliary care packages and urgent action must be taken to address this.
Mr Mc Aleer was speaking after a meeting with senior Western Trust officials. The meeting was also attended by Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald.
Mr Mc Aleer said "We have been dealing with many cases, especially in isolated rural areas where vulnerable people in need of care either cannot return home from residential care or are at home being attended to by family members with the district nursing team doing their best to fill the gap in provision.
"This places enormous strain on families and elderly spouses who themselves are in need of respite and support. In the case of one family I am dealing with, brokerage sent out calls on 18 occasions but could not get a provider, so clearly there is a major gap in provision.
"I stressed that under the recently passed Rural Needs Act that government departments, including Health, have a legal duty to pay 'due regard' to the needs of rural dwellers when providing services and this duty must be factored in to any reforms.
Cllr Fitzgerald added "There are reforms currently taking place in domiciliary care and we stated very clearly that people are anxious that these will result in more comprehensive provision, particularly in rural areas.
"They assured us that a transition phase has already begun and we note that agencies are already advertising for posts in some of the areas that are affected by gaps in provision.
"The lack of a domiciliary care package places huge strain on vulnerable people and their families. This is not a new problem but it has now reached breaking point for many families so we are glad to note that steps are being made to address the issue.
"We will continue to keep the pressure on the Trust to ensure that home care provision extends to all parts of the district".
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