Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (256)

Finian McGrath

Question:

256. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health if he will support and meet a group (details supplied) in County Galway. [35644/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I recognise the importance of life-skills training and day services to young people with disabilities who are leaving the education system and every effort is being made within available resources to provide services to all 2013 school-leavers. Service providers and the HSE are working closely together to identify how the needs of those individuals who require day services or training places in 2013 can be responded to within available resources and I have asked the Health Service Executive (HSE) to keep me informed of progress in that regard on an ongoing basis.

Although the 2013 allocation for disability services has been reduced by 1.2%, the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan includes an additional €4m to provide training places and day services for school-leavers and Rehabilitative/Lifeskills Training (RT) graduates in 2013. This funding has been allocated to each HSE Region based on its percentage of population:

HSE Region

Percentage

Amount

HSE South

25.59%

€1,023,600

HSE West

23.31%

€932,400

HSE DNE

22.72%

€908,800

HSE DML

28.38%

€1,135,200

Both the voluntary sector and the HSE are committed to the best use of the funding in a creative and flexible manner so as to secure as many places as possible for this cohort.

The demand for services for school-leavers continues to grow. In 2012 approximately 700 young people required new placements and this year the HSE has reported that there has been a substantial increase in the number of young people who have finished their education or life-skills training and who require a health-funded service in 2013. Providing the level of services required within the additional funding provided will continue to be a challenge in all regions of the country. Work in this area is being progressed largely in line with the HSE guidance document developed in 2012, which led to the successful placement of 99% of RT graduates and 96% of school leavers last year. The HSE has informed me that the current position is that 81% of school leavers and 75% of RT graduates nationally have now been allocated a placement. A communication process to inform families of the services that will be available from September 2013 is currently under way.

Requests to meet my colleague Minister Reilly are arranged through his Office. Accordingly I would suggest a representative of the group in question should make contact with the Minister's Office at ministers_office@health.gov.ie.