SF Slams McGrath Over Reduction In North Dublin Respite Care Hours

Sinn Féin has slammed the Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, over the decreasing number of respite care hours for children with disabilities in North Dublin.

New figures from HSE have revealed overnight respite care hours available in the Dublin North and Dublin North Central areas have fallen from 3,461 in the first quarter of 2016 to 1,405 currently.

In Dublin North Central, the availability of day-only respite care has also fallen from 802 hours in 2016 to 36 hours in 2017.

Calling on Minister McGrath to explain why respite care hours have been slashed across the board in north Dublin, Sinn Féin's Denise Mitchell called the reduction in hours "utterly disgraceful".

Deputy Mitchalle said: "In the first quarter of 2016, there were 3,461 overnight respite care hours available in the Dublin North and Dublin North Central areas; since this Government took office that has been slashed by 2,056 to just 1,405 hours. That is utterly disgraceful. There is growing demand for this service yet the allocations are decreasing.

"Meanwhile, in Dublin North Central, the availability of day-only respite care has almost disappeared completely from 802 hours provided in 2016 to just 36 hours in 2017.

"This vital service provides much needed temporary relief for families from the constant strain of caring for their loved ones. Families of children with disabilities have been crying out for more respite care hours, so why on earth has this Government allowed the allocation to continue to be slashed?

"The Minister and the Government need to get a handle on the growing crisis in our Health Service, ensure that the needs of patients and their families are met and that the funding is there for such important services."


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