Charity to resume respite services

by Staff Reporter

The HSE has moved to provide funding to St Vincent’s Centre respite service to facilitate emergency residential placements after a crisis situation led to regular respite placements being put on hold at the facility.
The centre, located on the Navan Road and run by the Daughter’s of Charity, was approached by the HSE to take in people in need of full-time care. As the centre does not provide emergency residential placements, facilitating the HSE’s request meant that the service’s respite house was filled, leaving other families without recourse to a respite service.
According to Denis Cronin of the centre, they worked immediately with the HSE to resolve the problem by renovating its existing service: “The HSE agreed to fund us to reconstruct our respite house to allow us to have emergency residential placement on one side and regular respite placement on the other side.
“They [HSE] did respond promptly and have offered us money to reorganise this, and the revenue to staff the new accommodation.
“These people had been getting services and respite from us anyway, but there was an escalation in their family situation which meant we had to take them to give them full-time care for a period of time. That is what the problem was.
“Unfortunately for the other 16 families involved, we weren’t able to provide them with support,” he said.
The families have been without respite since May 9 and the situation is anticipated to go on for another week-and-a-half until the service is back up and running.
“The good news is that we anticipate to have [the centre] back and open for normal operation on June 4. That is our plan; work began immediately,” said Cronin.
“The HSE in this instance did respond promptly recognising there was a crisis and responded immediately.
“Once the building is renovated, we hope to provide the crisis respite on one side of the building and the regular respite service for the 16 families on the other side,” he added.
A spokesperson for the HSE said they are working with Daughters of Charity to ensure that the respite services can resume as soon as possible.
“Dublin North City Disability Service is allocating a sum of €140,000 for the adaptation of a residential house to accommodate clients with specific needs and to provide the staffing resources to allow the Daughters of Charity to operate this facility. This will allow the Daughters of Charity respite facility service to be resumed as normal.”
Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty (Ind) said the responsibility for the crisis does not lie with the respite service providers, but with the HSE saying no service should have been closed.
“The HSE should have had crisis management in place and be able to deal with this situation without any closure of respite [services], short-term or otherwise.
“There is a broader issue of funding for respite services and support for families who have a family member with special needs or an intellectual disability.
“There have been massive cuts to disability support services in the Dublin area.
“As far as I am concerned, funding for these types of support should be ring-fenced. Remember, families caring for someone who has special needs, not only do they do a fine job in difficult circumstances, but they also save the State hundreds of thousands of euro a year as carers – they are the unsung heroes in our society,” he added.

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