Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (688)

Noel Rock

Question:

688. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Health if the transport needs of a person (details supplied) will be investigated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24192/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The provision of transport services is not part of core services within disability services. As a general rule public transport should be used in all circumstances where it is an option. This is in keeping with the principle of main-streaming with a clear focus on ensuring persons with a disability have access to the normal range of services and participate in community life as far as possible. It must be noted that in general, day service users are in receipt of disability allowance and are automatically entitled to the Free Travel Pass, so there should be no additional cost burden at an individual level.

In regard to developments to meet the day service needs of school leavers each year, all new service locations under development are located as close as possible to where people reside so as to reduce the travel time for each person and enable them to be more connected with their own local community.

Funding is not provided for the transportation of young people to and from day services. However when all other options are exhausted and a person cannot avail of a day service because they do not have transport to attend, the service provider is advised to use some of the service money to cover the transport costs – this usually results in the provision of a reduced quantum of service.

The HSE intends to liaise with the National Transport Authority and disability service providers to explore ways in which the Authority’s services could assist people with disabilities. The National Transport Authority has a total of 17 Transport co-ordinating units called Local Link which provide safe secure and reliable Public Transport services in local and rural areas of Ireland through a combination of scheduled Public Transport services and door to door services. The HSE plans to explore the opportunities these units may provide to people with disabilities to access day services and participate in the social, educational and economic life of their local communities.

As the Deputy's question relates to a service matter concerning an individual, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.