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Written Answers - Services for People with Disabilities

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 568.  Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary  asked the Minister for Health Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  if he will reverse his Department's Health Service Executive 2012 disability cuts of 3.7%; if he will reverse his decision to cut the personal assistant hours in view of the detrimental effect it is having on persons with disabilities; [945]and if he will advise as to the number of persons in County Donegal who will be affected by the PA cuts [16362/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch The Health Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan for 2012 provides for a reduction of 3.7% in funding to specialist disability services. However, the Service Plan states that at least 2% of this should not impact on services and needs to be generated from other savings and increased efficiencies. As part of the ongoing work of the HSE’s National Consultative Forum on disability services, the HSE in conjunction with representative organisations, service providers and service users, has begun a process to identify and agree a framework for identifying and implementing cost efficiencies. e goal is to minimise the impact on services.

The HSE provides a range of assisted living services, including Personal Assistant services, to support individuals to maximise their capacity to live full and independent lives. In 2011, a total of 1.68 million personal assistant / home support hours were provided to 11,571 persons with a physical and/or a sensory disability. Although the funding allocated to disability services has decreased by 3.7%, the HSE aims to minimise the impact this will have on services users and their families as much as possible. The HSE is in the process of negotiating with agencies providing personal assistant services around the unit cost of providing this service.

The Department of Health has asked the Health Service Executive to reply directly to you in relation to personal assistant services in County Donegal.

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