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Less respite care being provided despite increased need - Louise O'Reilly TD

13 August, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin's Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that she finds it utterly unacceptable that after all the debate and all the promises made by the government in 2017 to improve and increase respite care that less respite care is being provided so far in 2018 compared to last year.

Teachta O’Reilly said: 

“Respite care is one of the most important services provided by the health service. Those who avail of respite services will tell you that it is precious in providing their loved one and their family with much needed rest. 

“Last year in the aftermath of the RTÉ Primetime broadcast “Carers in Crisis”, which highlighted the difficulties for those who provide care for a family member or loved one face in the absence of adequate respite care being provided, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health promised improved and increased provision of respite care. 

“Therefore, it is utterly unacceptable that despite rising requests and need that 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 less respite care sessions provided in quarter one of 2018 compared to last year.

"Counties such as Limerick had 586 respite sessions cut, Kerry had 400 respite sessions cut, and Carlow/Kilkenny had 558 respite sessions cut. Indeed, these cuts come on the back of close to 15,000 sessions of respite care being slashed last year. 

“This situation is completely unacceptable. These respite sessions provide respite and relief to parents and families who have a person in the household with a disability; they are some of the hardest pressed and struggling families in the state, and the evidence shows that this government is failing them. 

“We need to see year on year increases and investment in respite services in order to provide for those who currently need care as well as for those who will need it in the future. You cannot slash respite care sessions by thousands of hours and expect things to work the same.

"The cutting of these respite sessions has real life implications for families across the State and it has to be reversed as a matter of urgency."

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