Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Health

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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505. To ask the Minister for Health the process to apply for reassignment of pre-Covid-19 supports for persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44449/20]

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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In preparing for and responding to COVID-19 and to fully align with Public Health guidance as recommended via the NPHET, the HSE and its partner service providers put in place a range of measures, which included the prioritisation of vital Residential and Home Support/PA services whilst curtailing or closing certain services such as day services, respite services, and certain clinical & therapeutic supports.

The number of people in receipt of PA and Home Support services has remained steady throughout the pandemic. The number of PA hours provided up to end September 2020 (Q3) has exceeded the expected target as a result of additional PA hours being provided in lieu of other services and is on schedule to deliver National Service Plan (NSP) levels of service by year end. Home Support Services are slightly down on target to date, given the complexity involved in the provision of services due to COVID-19.

In order to support Personal Assistants (PAs) during the pandemic, the HSE Disability Operations Quality Improvement Office developed infection, prevention and control bespoke guidance for PAs. This was developed in collaboration with Leaders, Personal Assistants and Service Providers and was agreed with the Health Surveillance Protection Centre (HSPC) and was published on the Partner Resources Page on the HSE website under the tab ‘HSE Approved Guidance for Disability Services’ at www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/partner-resources.

As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the deputy directly, as soon as possible.


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