Ferris Blasts Cutbacks To In-Home Respite Hours For Children With Disabilities

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Deputy Martin Ferris.

KERRY Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has strongly criticised the  cut back in-home respite hours for children with disabilities in Kerry.

Figures obtained under a Parliamentary Question posed by Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD show that in the first quarter of this year there was a decrease of 220 hours of overnight respite care compared to quarter 1 in 2016.

Speaking today, Deputy Ferris said; “These figures for Kerry are disturbing but not surprising given how many parents in the county have provided anecdotal evidence. If this trend were to continue for the remainder of the year there would be nearly 900 hours lost, and this is from an already low base because of previous cutbacks.

I am acutely aware from cases in Kerry how important even an hour of respite means to parents who are already struggling to run as normal a family life as possible. I have spoken in the Dáil and with the minister responsible on the the dire need for respite in Kerry,unfortunately healthcare doesn’t seem to top the list of priorities for those in power and those propping up this government,” he said.

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“Many of these parents are the primary carers and they cannot be good carers if they don’t get some form of respite. Kerry already suffers from a lack of local and acute medical facilities and carers are filling the gaps left by the HSE and government.

The minimum they deserve is a proper respite care service to allow them rest and provide relief for their families,” he added.

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