November 9, 2020
Resumption of Respite Care services for Donegal service users must be given priority by Government – Pearse Doherty TD

Donegal Sinn Féin TD, Pearse Doherty, has said today that the Government must prioritise the resumption of respite care for Donegal service users.

Speaking today Teachta Doherty said:

“I have received a reply from the HSE in relation to questions I raised asking about the resumption of respite care for service users in Donegal. While I appreciate that the staff within the service are working under difficult conditions, I am appealing to the Government, and in particular the Minister for Health, to give this matter priority.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic has created difficulties and challenges for all aspects of our health and social care systems, we have been living with Covid-19 now since March and families of those with additional needs who avail of respite care need to be given clear information in relation to a pathway forward to resume respite care.

“I have been told that of the four designated respite centres in County Donegal, two of these, Riverwalk Respite House in Inishowen and Drumboe Respite House in Stranorlar, are providing emergency respite services for four adults. This has had an obvious impact on the capacity of these centres to provide respite to the wider population in Donegal.

“I have also been told that Donegal centres are working at a reduced capacity where some service users have had to isolate, thus requiring a greater amount of space which affects the capacity of the other centres. While I understand that other possibilities are being explored to alleviate the capacity issues, this needs to be given priority and we can’t wait around indefinitely while families and their loved ones are in need of respite care and support.

“While the staff are doing what they can to prioritise respite care for service users based on individual needs, it’s not good enough that we are disrupting the lives of other vulnerable persons when, with a bit of forward thinking, we can provide for all. If this means that we need additional facilities in the county, then this must be immediately explored by the Minister.”

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