Slashing of respite care hours in north Dublin is ‘utterly disgraceful’ – Mitchell
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North Denise Mitchell has called on Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath to explain why respite care hours for children with disabilities have been slashed across the board in north Dublin and to commit to restoring funding for this vital service.
Deputy Mitchell was speaking after figures obtained by her party from the HSE show a major decrease in allocation in respite care hours:
“In the first quarter of 2016, there were 3,461 overnight respite care hours available in the Dublin North and Dublin North Central areas; since this Government took office that has been slashed by 2,056 to just 1,405 hours. That is utterly disgraceful. There is growing demand for this service yet the allocations are decreasing.
“Meanwhile, in Dublin North Central, the availability of day-only respite care has almost disappeared completely from 802 hours provided in 2016 to just 36 hours in 2017.
“This vital service provides much needed temporary relief for families from the constant strain of caring for their loved ones. Families of children with disabilities have been crying out for more respite care hours, so why on earth has this Government allowed the allocation to continue to be slashed?
“The Minister and the Government need to get a handle on the growing crisis in our Health Service, ensure that the needs of patients and their families are met and that the funding is there for such important services.”