Written Answers. - Respite Care Fund.

Mary Wallace

Ceist:

260 Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Health the total amount of funding from the Respite Care Fund which was allocated by the health boards to outside organisations since the fund was transferred to his Department; the amount allocated to health board services; the amount that was used up by administration; and whether any central arrangements have been put in place to ensure that this funding is not deflected into other health board services. [16891/96]

Limerick East): The respite care fund was transferred to my Department from the Department of Social Welfare in 1995. The health boards are administering the scheme within their existing resources.

The annual allocation — 1995 and 1996 — is as follows:

Health Board

Allocation

£

Eastern

185,000

Midland

30,000

Mid-Western

40,000

North-Eastern

40,000

North-Western

30,000

South-Eastern

50,000

Southern

75,000

Western

50,000

All funding in 1995 was allocated to outside organisations. Some boards have yet to make final decisions on their 1996 allocation. I will advise the Deputy of the allocation for 1996 when the information becomes available.
Funding under this scheme is distributed by boards subject to the following conditions: grants may be allocated to community based projects under the headings: mental handicap services, physical disability services, psychiatric services, child care services, women's refuges, personal social services — including information and counselling services; at least 80 per cent of the block grant should be allocated to local voluntary groups; grants from the block allocation should not be used in substitution for section 65 grants and particular care should be taken to ensure that grants are made available only to viable schemes which will be completed within a reasonable period and, in determining priority of schemes, an assessment should be made of any ongoing revenue implications. Priority should be given to once-off projects which would have no ongoing revenue implications for health boards.