Home support hour shortfall confirms that ‘care in the community’ reasoning for Tipperary bed closure is without basis

Teachta Browne said:
“The Governments claims that care in the community will replace the need for the many beds the
HSE has targeted for closure in Co Tipperary, doesn’t stack up in light of data that reveals around
one third of home support targets were missed in Tipperary throughout 2021.
“In discussing the closure of St Brigid’s in Carrick on Suir and the planned closure of long-stay beds at
the Dean Maxwell in Roscrea, the HSE and the Department of Health told me that their focus was
shifting to ‘care in the community’, which would replace the need for these beds.
“However, figures provided by the HSE serve to throw those claims into complete disrepute.
“In the 12 months to January 2022, the HSE had planned to provide 33,522 home support hours in
South Tipperary. But it has been confirmed that only 24,238 were actually provided.
“In the North Tipperary/East Limerick area, the target was 48,156 hours. Only 32,076 were
“This clearly indicates that ‘care in the community’ is clearly not replacing the need for these beds.
To me, it is further confirmation of that closing these beds is wrong, and the alternatives they speak
of weren’t and still aren’t in place.
“In its response on the matter, the HSE said that ‘the Department is currently engaged in a detailed
process to develop a new stand-alone, statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home
support services’.
“Again, this is clear confirmation that the reasoning they gave for the closure of these beds was
without basis, as a scheme that actually delivers for the people who need these services is only at
developmental stage. They are also having real problems recruiting staff – a matter that is still not
“Further claims by the HSE that ‘work within the Department of Health to establish a cross-
departmental Strategic Workforce Advisory Group including the HSE to work with key stakeholders to
examine in detail at issues of recruitment, retention, skills development, pay and conditions, and
sustainable employment of home support workers into the future’ reinforces my contention that the
HSE and the Department of Health are targeting communities without putting in place the
appropriate supports they speak of.
“This is why the HSE and the Department of Health need to seriously re-evaluate their stance on
closing community facilities in Co Tipperary, for the health and wellbeing of Co Tipperary’s