Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath T.D. today welcomed the publication of the HSE National Service Plan for 2019.
Minister McGrath said
“HSE Disability Services focus on supporting and enabling people with disabilities to maximise their full potential as independently as possible. I welcome the extra funding secured for disability services in the 2019 Service Plan, which brings the spend on disability services in 2019 to close to €1.925bn.
We have achieved a lot in 2018. Notably, twelve new respite houses were funded, with ten fully operational and the final two to open in Q1 of 2019. In a full year these houses will provide an additional 19,000 respite nights, which will give a vital break to those with a disability and those who care for them. A significant milestone for the sector was when HIQA registered all 1,200 residential centres for people with a disability in advance of the statutory deadline of 31 October. In addition I published the Report of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets in July 2018. As part of our Strategy on social inclusion an estimated 170 people will have moved from a congregated setting into their new homes by the end of the year.
In the 2019 Service Plan I am particularly pleased that we will reduce the waiting times for Assessment of Need for children through the provision of 100 additional therapist posts.”
“I know that Personal Assistance and Home Support hours are a key concern for a lot of people. In NSP 2019 there will be an increase of 170,000 Personal Assistance hours and 150,000 Home Support hours over the Service Plan 2018 targets.”
“Additional funding of €12m is being allocated to meet the cost of providing day supports and services for approximately 1,500 young adults who will leave school in 2019. Under the plan, the HSE will move up to 160 people from large institutional settings to homes in the community in line with Time to Move on from Congregated Settings, building on the good work done in 2018 where almost 170 people will have moved from congregated settings into their new homes by the end of the year.
90 new high-acuity emergency residential places will also be funded in 2019 to address urgent unplanned cases as they arise.”
“I have always said that my priority is the people living with a disability and their families. I recognise the significant year on year budgetary increases in the disability sector which has made real improvements to people’s lives. However, I am also acutely aware of the daily challenges facing many people with disabilities and their families. I will continue to ensure their voices are heard and inform the planning and improvement of services to meet their evolving needs”.