Respite care in state of disarray


Wednesday, 2nd December 2015

Respite care in state of disarray

Inclusion Ireland and Care Alliance Ireland call on the Department of Health to establish a National Respite Strategy

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister for Disabilities Kathleen Lynch urged to address ad hoc provision of respite care

Inclusion Ireland and Care Alliance Ireland are calling on the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister for Disabilities Kathleen Lynch to form a working group with the objective of establishing a National Respite Strategy to address the ad hoc provision of respite care services.  

The Government must provide some clarity to frustrated family members who are struggling to secure adequate respite care and are being left at the whim of service providers.

Inclusion Ireland CEO Paddy Connolly said:

“Respite care is an essential resource that offers important support to the whole family. However, the provision of respite care services is in a state of disarray with no ring-fenced budget designated to protect these much-needed services.  

“The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has recently liaised with families involving the provision of respite care in his own constituency. However, we want him to provide some coordination on this pressing issue on a national scale.

“Inclusion Ireland hears from dozens of family members each year who tell us that the quality, setting and frequency of respite care services vary greatly from area to area. There are examples of innovative respite care – but the services that are available to families depends greatly on geographical location.

“In many cases parents are not being offered a service that caters to individual needs and are being offered a one-size-fits-all model. But each family has differing needs. Parents should have greater choice over the services and supports they receive and different models of respite care should be available. Over the years, respite houses have been closed and respite reduced by service providers as a result of HSE cuts to funding.”

Care Alliance Ireland Executive Director Liam O’Sullivan said:

“Family carers in Ireland must be confident that they will have reasonable access to suitable and timely respite. However, this is not currently the case with all too many family carers in Ireland.”

Notes to the editor:

Inclusion Ireland is the national association for people with an intellectual disability. We provide a central forum for our members to identify priorities and formulate nationally agreed policies to present to government, statutory bodies, other relevant groups as well as the general public.

Inclusion Ireland campaigns for changes in services and legislation that will improve the quality of life and participation of people with an intellectual disability in Irish society

Inclusion Ireland also provide an information and advice service to people with an intellectual disability, their families and also to services that support people with an intellectual disability as well as students and others doing research in the sector etc.

Cormac Cahill
086 837 3394

Care Alliance Ireland is the National Network of Voluntary Organisations supporting Family Carers. Our vision is that the role of Family Carers is fully recognised and valued by society in Ireland.

We exist to enhance the quality of life for Family Carers. We achieve this by supporting our member organisations in their direct work with Family Carers through the provision of information, developing research and policy, sharing resources, and instigating opportunities for collaboration.

We work with our 95 member organisations and other agencies to support them in their work with Family Carers.

Family carers are available to speak to the media on request.


Liam O’Sullivan
087 207 3265