Continued cuts to respite hours in Mayo are truly shocking – Conway-Walsh
Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has strongly criticised the massive cut back in-home respite hours for children with disabilities in Mayo.
Speaking today, Senator Conway-Walsh said;
“These figures for Mayo are startling. In the first quarter of this year there was a decrease of 151 hours of overnight respite care compared to quarter 1 in 2016.
If this trend were to continue for the remainder of the year there would be over 600 hours lost. We must not forget that this Government has started off from a very low base in the provision of respite care.
“The previous Government and Fianna Fáil slashed respite care hours, once again failing to take the most vulnerable in our society into account. If anything, we should be seeing major attempts by this Government to at least return the provision to the level it stood at prior to the cuts.
“I am acutely aware from cases in Mayo how important even one hour of respite is to parents who are already struggling to run as normal a family life as possible.
“Many of these parents are the primary carers and they cannot be good carers if they don’t get some form of respite. Mayo already suffers from a lack of local and acute medical facilities and carers hold the line in many cases.
“The least they deserve is a proper respite care service to allow them rest and provide relief for their families.
“These figures should act as a wakeup call to the Government and should guide their thinking as they enter the period of budget preparation. They should reverse this trend of cutbacks in hours and start restoring provision to previous levels.
“The Government cannot on the one hand praise carers for their work in filling in where the State fails and on the other hand deny basic assistance to them.”