Southern Health Trust reveals 700 patients are waiting on domiciliary care packages

Around 700 people in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area are waiting for domiciliary care packages, it’s been revealed.
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The high figure caused concern at Mid Ulster District Council, when councillors were briefed at a recent meeting by representatives of the Trust.

The figure was disclosed by the Trust’s director of Adult Community Services, Brian Beattie, as part of a wider presentation.

Councillor Clement Cuthbertson (DUP) expressed alarm on hearing that 700 domiciliary care packages are currently outstanding.

Alarm has been raised after it was revealed that 700 domiciliary care packages are currently outstanding in the Southern Trust area. Picture: unsplashAlarm has been raised after it was revealed that 700 domiciliary care packages are currently outstanding in the Southern Trust area. Picture: unsplash
Alarm has been raised after it was revealed that 700 domiciliary care packages are currently outstanding in the Southern Trust area. Picture: unsplash

The Dungannon councillor asked: “Just in the relation to the Southern Trust domiciliary care, am I right in saying that there were 700 outstanding people waiting on packages?

“If that’s correct, it’s very alarming. We are all getting calls from families and people that are in need of these packages, and I suppose there’s a knock-on effect – they can’t be discharged from hospital.

“We know that there’s pressure there on getting contractors and staff, but 700 is a very alarming figure.”

Mr Beattie confirmed that this was indeed the case, although the precise figure tends to fluctuate.

Craigavon Area Hospital. Picture: GoogleCraigavon Area Hospital. Picture: Google
Craigavon Area Hospital. Picture: Google

“At the end of December it was 800, so there’s been some improvement.

“If you’re that one person and you’re waiting for a domiciliary care package, or you’re trying to take care of a loved one, we completely get it. We are of the population, we live in the Southern Trust, so we know what this is about.

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“We’re doing our best but that work is not commissioned, we do not have money to provide it.

“We are still trying to recruit even though we don’t have the money, and to an extent we have already over-provided domiciliary care compared to the level that we’ve been funded to do.

“That is a major concern for all Trusts. This is a UK problem.”