Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Department of Health
522. To ask the Minister for Health when disability day services will fully reopen for those who are fully vaccinated; if he is satisfied that some service users are only receiving a 20% service and that this has only happened in recent weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44469/21]
Day services re-opened at 39% capacity at service locations throughout August and early September of 2020, and by end of January 2021 this had increased to 51%. The combination of supports in the location, outreach supports, and remote supports provides an overall quantum of support to service users of over 60% at the end of January. The increase in day service capacity was supported by additional funding of €30 million provided in Budget 2021 to increase capacity in buildings and provide extra staff. This funding provided an increase in day services by an average of one day a week for 14,940 people against September 2020 service levels.
I was very pleased last week to announce that adult day services for people with disabilities will return to full capacity by October 22nd, in line with our COVID 19 response ‘Reframing the Challenge’ roadmap for the lifting of restrictions.
Day service providers have been requested to develop their individual day service location roadmaps to increase the level of day service provision to 100% restoration for each day service user by October 22nd.
Infection prevention and control measures that have been introduced to support the safe delivery of adult disability day services since the onset of COVID 19 will remain in place after October 22nd. These arrangements include risk assessments, enhanced environmental hygiene, and pod like arrangements in day service locations. Mask wearing will remain in place in day services, except for those who are exempt from wearing a face covering.
I also note that on 2nd September, also in line with the government statement on ‘Reframing the Challenge’, the HSE issued guidance to all providers that day service transport can now return to 100% capacity, with all relevant infection prevention and control measures still to be observed, including the wearing of face coverings where possible and appropriate for service users.