Pandemic Payment - NCCN

Community carers group calls for clarity on when carers will receive frontline workers’ payment.

The National Community Care Network (NCCN) has today (Sunday 22nd May) called on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD to urgently clarify when community-based carers will receive the long-awaited €1,000 Pandemic Special Recognition Payment for frontline healthcare workers.

The NCCN is a national organisation of not-for-profit care organisations providing home care in local communities. Under the original proposals, only those carers who are directly employed the HSE would have received the €1,000 payment, but the organisation understands Minister Donnelly is expanding this to all community-based carers.

While many HSE workers have received the payment, no information has been forthcoming from the Minister when other carers not directly employed by the HSE, but who are providing State funded care in the community will receive the €1,000 payment.

Commenting on this, Chief Executive of NCCN, Fiacre Hensey, said; ‘’This is really an issue of recognising the tireless and invaluable work thousands of hardworking carers do for their communities day in and day out, night in and night out. Despite doing the same work as HSE employees, with the same risks, there has been little or no political recognition for carers who do not work for the HSE, even though the care they are providing is funded by the HSE through our members. The Government are yet to publish information for non-HSE frontline healthcare workers on when they will receive the payment.’’

Fiacre went on to say; ‘’At a time when the country is severely struggling to recruit carers, we need to be saluting their contribution and valuing them properly. The vulnerable members of the community who are receiving care certainly didn’t mind whether their carer worked for the HSE or not, only that they were looked after with compassion, kindness and professionalism. During the pandemic, everyone pulled together and did the best they could in desperate circumstances. We shouldn’t now cause divisions in the healthcare sector about this payment.’’

NCCN has been engaging with Government ministers over the past few months to outline their position and calling for carers in community-based organisations to be included in the payment.

The National Community Care Network was established in 2014 to provide a unified voice on the issues affecting the delivery of quality home care and support to vulnerable persons in the community. NCCN represents 20 community home care providers, working in urban and rural areas across the country, providing 2,500,000 home care hours to approximately 7,000 older persons and some 200,000 hours to persons with disabilities. NCCN member companies employ circa 3,000 trained carers to deliver a wide range of services including home care, meals on wheels, day centres and confidential help lines.

Ends.

Please Note: a spokesperson is available for interview

For more information please contact:

Rory Sweeney

Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

Paul Allen

Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700