Thursday, 8 November 2012

Ceisteanna (64)

Jonathan O'Brien


64. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the annual outlay for personal assistants in each of the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and the anticipated spend for same in 2012; if he will confirm that there will be no cuts to services for persons dependent on personal assistants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48961/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) provides a range of assisted living services, including Personal Assistant services, to support individuals to maximise their capacity to live full and independent lives. As detailed in the HSE National Service Plan 2012, due to regional variations in service developments and budget allocations, data collected under the performance indicators process has become increasingly unreliable. The National Disability Governance Group is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of the performance indicator process. As a result, reliable data for 2008-2010 cannot be provided.

In 2011, a total of 1.68 million personal assistant/home support hours were provided to persons with physical and/or sensory disability. In 2012 the target for PA hours is 1.64 million hours. It is anticipated that the outturn of 1.68 million in 2011 and the 2012 target will both be exceeded. In 2011, an additional 16,000 hours PA/Home Support hours were provided as a result of €10 million demographic funding allocated to Disability Services. It was not possible to provide additional funding in 2012 for this purpose.

Although the funding allocated to disability services in 2012 was reduced by 3.7%, the HSE's main aim was to minimize the impact this would have on service users and their families as much as possible. Service efficiencies around the provision of Personal Assistant services are currently being achieved through a process of negotiation with service providers around the unit cost of providing the service, rather than reducing the number of PA hours. In this context, the National Disability Unit is engaging with each HSE region to identify models and approaches in place pertaining to Personal Assistant and Home Support Services as well as cost, such as hourly and daily rates, involved in providing services. This process will identify the precise nature of the services available with the intent of identifying agreed models of service delivery.

Pending completion of the national estimates, budgetary and service planning process of 2013, it is not possible to predict the service levels to be provided next year.