Less respite care being provided in County Meath despite increased need – Tóibín
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín has said that he finds it unacceptable that less respite care is being provided so far in 2018, compared to last year. This is in spite of promises made by the government in 2017 to improve and increase respite care services.
Teachta Tóibín said:
“Respite care is one of the most important services provided by the health service. The government promised improved and increased provision of these services last year following the shocking RTÉ Primetime report ‘Carers in Crisis’ which showed the difficulties faced by those providing care for loved ones.
“Despite these promises and despite the increasing demand for respite care, less respite care is being provided in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same time last year.
“Figures released to me through a Parliamentary Question show that there was 1,714 fewer sessions of respite care provided in the first quarter of 2018 compared to last year. Indeed, these cuts come on the back of close to 15,000 hours of respite care being slashed last year.
“In County Meath, there were 370 fewer overnight sessions accessed by people with a disability. This is as fall of 22% from last year. There were 95 fewer day respite sessions accessed by people with a disability. This is a reduction of 71% from the previous period last year. This is not due to a fall in demand of the service but a reduction in availability.
“This situation is completely unacceptable, but it’s unsurprising. How could Fine Gael, backed by Fianna Fáil, slash respite care sessions by thousands of hours and expect things to work the same? The cutting of these respite hours has real life implications for families across the State and it has to be reversed as a matter of urgency.”