Eilish O’Regan in her article in this morning’s Independent and yesterday’s Health Committee debates, have highlighted some issues coming down the tracks for the home care sector.

The rapidly increasing demand for home care means that some form of co-payment as happens in many other countries, is inevitable in order to ensure those that need care the most can get it.

However, the other side of this equation is how can we keep the cost of home care reasonable and ensure that we get the value for our money whether that be state funds or private funds topping up state supports?

One way is through the use of personal budgets and giving people the power to decide how best to use the funds available to them. Presently people are forced to use a list of approved providers for their home care support. As the significant waiting lists show, in many cases these providers can’t or won’t deliver that care.

Personal budgets can give the opportunity to activate local resources in a more personal and cost efficient way rather than forcing people to go through larger approved providers with the additional costs and overheads involved.

The UK is trialling successfully the funding of what they term micro providers to deliver care in a more localised manner and at rates significantly below what larger providers need to charge.

With this in mind it is important that when regulation does come in, that it doesn’t rule out the option for people and families to move away from large agencies and opt for a more focused, personal solution that could also give them significantly more support for the funds available.

HomeCareDirect.ie are passionate about empowering carers to provide this type of localised personal support in a tax compliant manner and giving families another option apart from large corporate type providers.

Importantly by empowering carers we are also making caring a more attractive career and helping to address the very real recruitment issues that the home care sector is facing.

Michael Harty.
Managing Director