Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Health
Disability Services Provision
The Government acknowledges that the implementation of COVID- 19 restrictions has led to the reduction and suspension of services for both children and adults across Disability Services. While these restrictions have been introduced as protective measures they have resulted in significant stress for individuals with disabilities and their families. The reintroduction of services is now underway, as detailed in the HSE’s roadmap to reopening services, in line with public health guidance. Since the outset, the HSE Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) and disability service providers worked collaboratively with families using creative and innovative models of care to support service users to where the need was greatest.
The Government is very aware of the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities, their families and carers. Children’s services, respite services and adult day services are all resuming, having been reimagined and redesigned to be delivered in line with new guidance published by the HSE. Health and social care responses to the current public health emergency are under continuing review, including specific measures such as these to support vulnerable people. Supports available may change over time and the HSE is aware that the needs of people with a disability and their families will change over time as well.
In line with the Governments Resilience & Recovery Framework (2020 – 2021), the HSE regards the provision of disability services as essential to maintaining a response to people with a disability, in the same way that schools and creches are. Importantly, Government’s intention is that disability services will remain open at each level of the Resilience and Recovery Framework, subject to public health guidance, including the prevention and management of COVID 19 related infection.