Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Health
Day centres are fundamental to the health and well-being of our older population and play a key role in enabling older people to live independently in their own communities. The pandemic and associated restrictions has had a profound impact across society and especially for our older population.
All Community Health Organisations through the National Older Persons Office were requested in April 2021 to provide information on the status of their Day Care Services in order to ascertain the level of service that could resume on receipt of updated public health guidance. As a result, it was intended that approximately 100 day centres would re-open week beginning 5 July. It was also intended that an additional 55 centres would resume in July and August, with a further 90 centres that require works expected to reopen before the end of the year. It was indicated that these dates may be subject to change as the HSE continues to deal with the significant challenge of the ongoing cyber-attack.
Since then updated Public Health guidance to support the re-opening of Day Care Services for Older People was provided in June 2021 to facilitate re-opening plans. Following on from this a further information request issued to HSE Services to obtain an update on re-opening plans. The process for reopening of the centres has already commenced and it is expected that more centres will reopen in the coming weeks.
As this Parliamentary Question relates to an operational issue, it is a matter for the HSE. However, members of the Oireachtas are advised that the HSE is currently unable to access the information to answer Parliamentary Questions due to the recent cyber-attack, which has required a temporary shutdown of HSE IT systems. The disruption to service is ongoing, and the HSE is working hard to restore its IT capacity and resume normal services. Members of the Oireachtas will be advised as soon as the HSE is again in a position to provide responses to PQs and are encouraged to resubmit their Parliamentary Questions at that point.