independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Victory for families as HSE does U-turn

Caroline and Sinead Dunphy, Jean and Cormac Murphy and Johanne and Siobhan Powell.

FOLLOWING A hard-fought battle and much campaigning by the families of disabled two women, the HSE has decided to reinstate a five-day-a-week bus service to bring the young adults to a specialised facility in Wexford Town.

With the support of the Carers Association, family carers Johanne Powell from Fethard-on-Sea and Caroline Dunphy from Newtown Commons have battled for the last four months to have their transport to day care services reinstated for their daughters Siobhán (29) and Sinead (21).

In March 2013, both families were informed that transport services to day care facilities would be cut from five days per week to three days per week due to cuts in the HSE's transport budget.

These services are vital for both Siobhán and Sinead as they receive essential therapies including Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, as well as giving their mothers, who are also their full-time carers, a break from providing round-the-clock care.

The heart-broken families were being faced with placing their daughters in residential care at a cost exceeding €50,000 per person per annum in order to make savings of €16,000 per annum for the HSE on transport costs.

The Carers Association and both families lobbied intensively to have this decision reversed. Much to the relief of all the HSE confirmed this week that the transport services will be reinstated as yesterday (Monday)

Catherine Cox, spokesperson for the Carers Association has openly welcomed the HSE decision and thanked them for reversing these cuts.

'While we are appreciative that this cut has been reversed and both Johanne and Caroline can now stop looking into residential care alternatives, we would like to engage further with the HSE around day respite services for young adults with disabilities, and specifically the lack of residential care facilities available for young adults such as Siobhán and Sinead,' said Catherine.

'This is important particularly when their needs become greater and as their carers themselves become older. And as always, the huge worry for many parents who are also family carers is, what happens my loved one when I can no longer care for them. This seriously needs to be addressed by the health services,' she added.

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