Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (269)

Billy Timmins

Question:

269. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the reduction in funding to disability services (details supplied) in County Wicklow; if his attention has been drawn to the impact this is having on the provisions of services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41528/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services, including disability services. The HSE either directly provides or contracts disability agencies such as Sunbeam House Services to provide a range of disability services through service level arrangements.

The HSE and Sunbeam House Services work in close collaboration with regard to the funding and delivery of services to people with an intellectual disability. As a voluntary agency, Sunbeam House Services are obliged to work within the resources available to them and in that regard have introduced significant efficiencies over recent years to remain within budget. Sunbeam House Services has confirmed that there have been no other cuts in services across any of the current day, residential or respite services.

The Haddington Road Agreement (HRA) sets out measures relating to productivity, cost extraction and reform which together intends to achieve a required pay bill reduction of €150m identified in the HSE Service Plan 2013. The agreement provides a framework and opportunities for managers within the health services, including agencies such as Sunbeam House Services, to reduce their costs associated with agency and overtime and a wide range of other pay costs, particularly through measures such as additional working hours and revised rates in respect of overtime.

The HSE is engaged in ongoing consultation with Sunbeam House Services and monitoring meetings take place on a regular basis. The HSE is aware of the significant challenges in the years ahead and will endeavour to ensure that all of the resources available for specialist disability services are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.