Continuted cuts to respite hours in Kerry in the first quarter of this year, were are ‘truly shocking’.
That’s according to Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris who was responding to figures obtained under a Parliamentary Question posed by party health spokesperson, Deputy Louise O’Reilly.
The Kerry TD says the figures show, what he describes, as ‘the appalling state of respite services’.
Figures indicate, in the first quarter of this year, there was a decrease of 220 hours of overnight respite care compared to the same quarter last year.
Deputy Ferris says these figures for Kerry are disturbing but not surprising given how many parents – who are their children’s primary carers – in the county have provided anecdotal evidence.
He said were this trend to continue for the remainder of the year nearly 900 hours would be lost, from an already lower base due to previous cutbacks.
Kerry, he said, already suffers from a lack of local and acute medical facilities and carers are filling the gaps left by the HSE.
From cases he’s encountered, Deputy Ferris said even one extra hour of respite means so much to parents.
As Budget negotiations commence, he called for those in Government to reverse the trend of cutbacks in hours and to restore provision to previous levels at the very least.