Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:50 UK

Home help slashed to 15 minutes

hands of elderly person
Home helps aid people staying in their homes

Some pensioners in the South Eastern Health Trust area are being told their home help is being cut from an hour a week to 15 minutes.

The Trust said there was a review of domestic care services, to increase provision to those with greatest need.

Newtownards man David Stitt said his 82-year-old father, who is recovering from a triple by-pass operation, relied on the service.

He said that it would be impossible to clean a house in 15 minutes.

"This isn't just about my father, it's about thousands of other pensioners - people who can't manage, unable to get around and different things," he said.

The trust said that its figures indicate the review has increased the number of older people "able to stay at home with dignity rather than being moved to nursing home care by almost 100".

It said there had been an increase in funding in domiciliary care over the first three months of this financial year against the same period last year and that they will "continue to provide quality care based on individual need".

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