The area of disability services is a priority area for this Government. To support people with a disability, significant resources have been invested by the health sector in disability services, and the Government has ensured that an additional €100 million is being provided for new disability measures this year, under Budget 2021. These measures will include an additional 80,000 personal assistant hours.
The Government is working to ensure that People with Disabilities be allowed to live an independent life of their own choosing, the same as any other person, and this is consistent with the disability reform policy - “transforming lives”.
The HSE provides a range of assisted living services including Personal Assistant (PA) services to support individuals to maximise their capacity to live full and independent lives.
Personal Assistance Services are accessed through an application process or through referrals from public health nurses or other community based staff. Individual’s needs are evaluated against the criteria for prioritisation for the particular services and then decisions are made in relation to the allocation of resources.
Resource allocation is determined by the needs of the individual, compliance with prioritisation criteria, and the level of resources available. It is important to note that the level of service delivered is varied to ensure that each client’s needs are reflected. Therefore there is no average agreed number of PA hours per person. PA and Home Support Services are provided either directly by the HSE or through a range of voluntary service providers. The majority of specialised disability provision (80%) is delivered through non-statutory sector service providers.
As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.