Kathleen Funchion TD slams Government for inaction over respite places in Carlow/Kilkenny
Sinn Féin's Kathleen Funchion TD for Carlow/Kilkenny was disappointed today to hear of the huge reduction in overnight respite provision for people with disabilities, which has dropped by over 22,600 nights in the last 3 years nationally.
Teachta Funchion said:
“I am very disappointed that the number of overnight respite provided to children and adults with disabilities has dropped in CHO 5 by 5,698 in two years.
“I am disappointed but not surprised by this. I have repeatedly raised the issue of overnight respite availability in both Carlow and Kilkenny, with no overnight provision available in Carlow since 2015.
"I am aware that there is progress being made on overnight respite care in Carlow, parents have been waiting since 2015 for any overnight respite as well as suffering a complete lack of information, transparency or concrete answers throughout the entire process.
“Overnight respite is vital for those with disabilities and their families. It allows rest, other responsibilities to get attention, special events to be attended, and is all around vital for family carers.
"The significant drop is absolutely devastating and is playing havoc with the well-being of those in desperate need of this service.
“There is an increase in the number of children and adults that are seeking access to respite on the basis of general population increase as well as increasing levels of complexity across the sector due to better health care.
“The Government and the HSE seem to have chosen to ignore this completely with a blatant disregard to the needs of families in these circumstance and it is clear that the government has failed to equip service providers with the necessary resources to deal with new standards from HIQA.
"Yet again, the government is completely out of touch with ordinary people, including their own service providers.
“The treatment of children and adults with disabilities and their families is a disgrace in this country at this stage and cannot continue unchecked.
"Between waiting lists for diagnoses, more waiting lists for appropriate follow up services, overcrowding in our hospitals, difficulty securing school places the list is endless.
“The Minister needs to take meaningful and immediate action so that people with disabilities and their families no longer have to battle for every single thing they are entitled to. We need to look after the most vulnerable in our society not just a select few."