Vulnerable people are receiving less home help as Hawkes Bay District Health Board (DHB) struggles to contain a budget blowout.
Personal care remained a priority but cleaning services had been cut by about one third, general manager of planning and performance Andrew Lesperance said.
"We aren't reducing support for personal care in any way, this is a priority area - the only change some people will have is a small reduction in household cleaning time," he said.
About 2500 people received help with personal care such as showering, dressing, safety checks and medication oversight from the DHB each year.
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Additional help with housework, such as vacuuming and laundry, was given to 2000.
The first quarter of the financial year was described as one of the worst for the DHB, with a budget overspend of $1.3 million according to a report last month.
The surplus was expected to be $2.3 million by the end of the first quarter but instead was $941,000.