Cut Of 400 Hours In Respite Care In Kerry Is ‘Unacceptable’ Says Ferris

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Cllr Toireasa Ferris.

LOCAL Sinn Féin Councillor Toireasa Ferris has said that it is completely unacceptable that 400 hours of respite care have been lost in Kerry in Quarter 1 of 2018.

Cllr Ferris said: “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.

“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.

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“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.

“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. 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.”

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