Homecare Independent Living celebrates 20th anniversary
Homecare Independent Living has reached a special milestone this year as it celebrates delivering care in the home for the last 20 years.
In 1995, the company was set up with a vision to create and deliver services which would enable people throughout Northern Ireland, regardless of their circumstances, to be cared for in their own homes, close to their loved ones and in a familiar environment.
Twenty years on a team of over 1,200 people are delivering over 5,500 home visits per day, providing over one million hours of care every year. Specialist housing and support services teams ensure that people at risk of homelessness are provided with accommodation and support in order to remain in their own communities. Their nursing services cater for clients with complex needs who until recently would require hospital care. In the last 20 years they have cared for more than 50,000 client’s right across the north and south of Ireland.
Over the last two decades, changes in the provision of care that supports the most disadvantaged to stay at home have been significant and the principle of transforming care to a community based service has been widely acknowledged as positive and vital in relieving the pressure on hospitals and GPs.
In recent times, however, there has been a significant downturn in the value placed on the service provided by care workers and this is a situation that is only going to deteriorate.
Raising the value of social care
As a caring organisation, Homecare Independent Living is passionate about the difference it makes to the most disadvantaged in society but it is sounding a strong warning that unless contracts accommodate the increases in the level of minimum and living wage, the delivery of ‘Transforming Your Care’ in the community will be under real threat.
“Without urgent action from Government and the Trusts to address a major deficit in funding, continued supply of state-funded homecare services in Northern Ireland will become completely unviable at a time when ‘Transforming your Care’ looks to social care services to support the Trusts, particularly supporting people to leave hospital and to live independently at home,” explains Adrian Norton, HCIL Chief Operations Officer.
“It is vital that the Trusts are sufficiently resourced and that monies are used to fund frontline homecare services and that the Department oversees and regulates the commissioning practices of the Trusts to ensure that all statutory requirements can be and are being met in relation to care workers’ rights and entitlements”.
“We need to examine the effects and value to the tax payer of a properly funded and functional independent homecare sector, in particular the vital role it needs to play in “Transforming your Care”.
Chief Executive Mairead Mackle is clear: “At Homecare Independent Living we value the people who are delivering our services. As a leader in the homecare provision marketplace it is essential that we have clear strategies in place to advocate for those we employ and those we serve. There have been great strides forward in helping people to be cared for in their own homes but equally there have been unacceptable obstacles set in the way of ensuring that those in need are given the dignity and support they deserve”.
“As we look toward the next ten years we believe that as a society we need to raise the value of social care not just with the general public but more importantly in political policy and delivery. We need to galvanise the public to feel empowered to demand that their loved ones are given a pledge of care with the dignity and respect that they deserve.”