May 28, 2023
Government failing people with disabilities and must provide vital respite services – Pauline Tully TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability, Pauline Tully TD, has said that the government is not listening to people with disabilities.

Speaking ahead of a Sinn Féin motion, which will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday, she said that it is time government gave people with disabilities and their families a break and provide them with vital respite services, care and support.

Teachta Tully said:

“The government isn’t listening to people with disabilities. It is time they gave them and their families a break and provide vital respite services.

“The government is failing on assessments of need, services and respite care.

“The longer they are in power the worse things will get – it’s time for change.

“Respite and short break services play an essential role in supporting family carers and people with disabilities, yet three quarters of families get no respite at all.

“There is now a significant and growing level of unmet need in terms of respite care, with less than 5,200 people receiving a respite service in 2022 despite an estimated 20,000 people or more with intellectual disabilities, physical and sensory disabilities, and autism living with family.

“Scandalously, fewer people received respite services in 2022 than in 2018, when more than 6,300 families were in receipt of respite care.

“Sinn Féin’s motion this week calls on government to work with stakeholders and service providers across the sector to address their immediate workforce and facility needs.

“It also urges government to leverage all existing capacity in the sector to support the reopening of closed respite centres, maintain existing capacity in the sector, and prevent further closures.

“They must also implement a multi-annual strategic workforce plan to expand services to address extreme levels of unmet need.

“The government needs to start listening to people with disabilities and their families.

“Adopting these measures would give people with disabilities and their families the care, services and support they need.”

Sinn Féin’s motion can be read here.

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