There may soon be some more clarity around the re-opening and capacity of disability day services in Cork.
The Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte has announced that a new online portal which will detail the reopening dates and capacities for disability day services in Cork and around the country is being developed and all 966 disability day services around the country have been asked to inform the HSE about their re-opening dates and the number of users able to use the service each day by this evening.
Minister Rabbitte met with HSE representatives on Tuesday to discuss the progress being made to reopen disability day services and the need for additional clarity for service users regarding when services will reopen.
“The closure of day services has been difficult for everyone, and I am keen to see services reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. I’ve been working with the HSE to ensure there are enough supports in place for the reopening of services from August.
“It is up to each individual service provider to pinpoint their reopening date and most service providers should already have been in touch with families at this point. It is expected that services will reopen during August and September, and neither the Department of Health nor HSE have been informed of any services reopening later than this,” she said.
The Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities admitted that Covid-19 health advice around social distancing means that capacity in many day services will be reduced but said such changes to the provision of care are crucial to mitigate risk to those most vulnerable in our society.
“While a full reopening of services would be ideal, Covid-19 has not gone away and we cannot put lives at risk as services reopen. Safety is paramount. We must protect our most vulnerable and this means all Covid safety guidelines must be followed,” the Minister added.
The information which is being collected from the 966 services will be collated and posted on the HSE’s website from August 4th.
“This will help provide the clarity and reassurance people are seeking at the moment,” the Minister said.