HSE hopes to restore respite centres back to full service

The HSE hopes to have two respite centres in the North West back to near full service in the coming months.

Respite services in Sligo and South Donegal have experienced a significant decrease in resources in recent months which has resulted in cutbacks.

The issue was highlighted in recent weeks by councillors and TDs in the region.


Calls have been made in recent weeks from councillors and TDs in Sligo and Donegal for the HSE to clarify the future of respite services in Sligo Town and Mountcharles.

The facilities provide much needed breaks for families and people with an intellectual disability.

Sligo Mayor Marie Casserly, Fianna Fail TD Eamon Scanlon and Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle have all questioned what is happening at the centres.

In a reply to enquiries from Ocean FM the HSE has confirmed there have been cuts to services in the Solas Respite Centre and the Seaview Respite House but that plans to restore them are in place.

The Solas centre in Sligo Town the HSE says in the past five years has experienced a significant decrease in resources due to retirements and resignations and alternative arrangements have had to be made.

In 2016 there were a total of 28 families using the Solas Respite Service, eight of whom have been offered alternative shared care arrangements within existing residential services for this year, which some have accepted.

The remaining 20 families will be provided with additional cash grant arrangements to assist them to support their family member during this period.

Plans are currently in place to reconfigure facilities in the next two months.

At the Seaview Respite House in Mountcharles, Co. Donegal, the HSE confirmed that there are also temporary staff shortages due to transfers and retirement which has led to a cut back in the service offered.

Over 100 families in South Donegal attend the centre which caters for children from the age of six years upwards and adults with an intellectual disability and autism on a rotational basis.

Three posts at the unit are being recruited via the national recruitment service and when staff are in place the service is expected to resume seven days a week.