SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 5th January) called for greater funding for home help packages and home care services as part of the solution to the overcrowding crisis in emergency departments in hospitals across the country. SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “While Government ministers have spent the last week reacting hysterically to what is an annual emergency department crisis they have failed to take a wider and more intelligent view of the health needs of people in the community.  “The solution to the emergency department crisis in hospitals will require a wider view of the health needs of the population. The failure of the HSE to adequately resource home help packages and home care services with a particular focus on the elderly and our most vulnerable has only served to exacerbated this annual crisis. “The HSE advertised vacancies for home care workers in 2017 and secured applications but has failed to appoint people into these vital positions. If these home care workers were employed it would have relieved pressure on emergency departments throughout the country.” Bell added: “SIPTU has today formally communicated with the HSE to once again remind it that the emergency department crisis can only be resolved through engagement with the multi-disciplinary emergency teams working day in and day out in our hospitals. These include allied health professionals, ambulance professionals, health care assistants, support staff, nurses and midwives.”