Statement from Minister Finian McGrath regarding the 2017 National Service Plan provision of Personal Assistance & Home Support Hours

Minister McGrath wishes to clarify the position regarding the 2017 National Service Plan provision of Personal Assistance & Home Support hours.

The Personal Assistance target for 2017 is 1.4 million funded hours an increase of 100,000 hours over the 2016 target of 1.3 million hours. The Home Support target for 2017 is 2.75 million hours an increase of 150,000 hours over the 2016 target of 2.6 million hours. This is being supported by an additional budget of €5.5 million.

PA/Home Support hours activity in 2016 is running at 500,000 hours over 2016 service plan target (200,000 extra PA hours and 300,000 extra home support hours) . 250,000 hours have arisen to respond to mainstream home support/ pa hour requirements (100,000 PA and 150,000 Home support hours) while a further 250,000 (100,000 Pa and 150,000 home support ) have arisen in response to emergency cases.

In 2017 this will be addressed by providing an additional budget of €5.5m to deal with the first 250,000 hours which will maintain this higher level of service throughout 2017 giving a higher 2017 service plan target of 1.4m PA Hours and 2.75m Home Support hours.

The remaining over run in 2016 of 250,000 hours was in the main caused by no emergency money for home support being provided in 2016 and this in turn put pressure on the 2016 budget for PA / Home Support hours, causing the over-run. This issue has now been addressed in 2017 through the provision of €9m ELS Emergency case funding to support the cost of cases that arose in 2016. Therefore there will be no loss to those individuals supported by this 250,000 hours in 2016.

Some of these individuals will move on to new residential places while others will continue with the enhanced home support/pa/in home respite type service. This will enable the CHOs to maintain an overall ELS position in 2017.

In addition €16.2 million is being provided for new Emergency Cases in 2017 including a new initiative for Home Support / In Home respite for emergency cases.