Kerry Loses 400 hours in Respite Care in First Quarter of 2018

Cllr. Toireasa Ferris is critical of the cut to respite care hours in Kerry in the first quarter of this year. ©Photograph:John Reidy

Sinn Féin Councillor Toireasa Ferris has said that it is completely unacceptable that, after all the promises made last year by the government to improve and increase respite care, in fact, less respite care hours have been provided so far in 2018 compared to last year.  

Important Services

“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,” said Cllr. Ferris.  

“Last year in the aftermath of the RTÉ Primetime broadcast ‘Carers in Crisis’ – which highlighted the difficulties carers face in the absence of adequate respite care, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health promised improved and increased provision of respite care.

Utterly Unacceptable

“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 my party colleague Deputy Louise O’Reilly through a Parliamentary Question show that there were 1,714 less hours of respite care provided in quarter one of 2018 compared to last year. Kerry had 400 hours cut. Indeed, these cuts come on the back of close to 15,000 hours of respite care being slashed last year. 

Respite and Relief

“This situation is completely unacceptable. These hours 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.

Expect Things to Work

“You cannot 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.

“It is ironic that these figures become available the same week that some government Ministers are flagging the possibility of providing two weeks unpaid leave to workers caring for elderly family members.”

With a click on the link here you can see the RTÉ One Primetime programme referred to in the statement from Cllr. Ferris.

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