The Government is committed to providing services and supports to people with disabilities, which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives.
Significant resources have been invested by the health sector in disability services over the past number of years. In 2019, over €1.9 billion was allocated to the HSE’s Disability Service Programme. This has funded a wide range of services and supports for people with disabilities, including over 8,300 residential places across the country.
The allocation for disability services will rise to over €2 billion in 2020, as compared to €1.9 billion this year. The additional €133.7million represents an increase of 7% on the 2019 Disability Services Budget. €25 million in additional funding has been provided for new service developments in 2020 with a specific focus on those with more complex needs, including:
- €5 million for emergency protocols to support people with disabilities who have high support needs.
- €5 million for intensive support packages for children and young people in response to the changing needs of service users and their families.
- €2m to support implementation of the Autism Plan, which includes a range of measures to improve services for people with Autism and their families.
In terms of CHO Area 7 specifically, every effort is being made to support families to keep their family member safe at home, within available resources. I am advised by the HSE that 13 new therapy posts were allocated to the region in 2019 to help address waiting lists for Assessment of Need and therapy interventions for children with complex disabilities. All of these posts are now filled. It is anticipated that further additional funding will be provided to the region in 2020 to support children with behaviours of concern to stay in their own homes and to facilitate the unblocking of 1 respite bed.