Thomas Pringle TD

Taoiseach confirms to Pringle Seaview Respite House capacity may increase to 7-days in future


Thomas Pringle TD – 26 Nov 2019


Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle raised the issue of Seaview House capacity today in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions citing frustration by families and service users of the series of delays and a resumption of 5-day/week service instead of a 7-day service in January 2020.

Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Pringle said “to the dismay of many families and service users in South and Southwest Donegal, the opening date for Seaview has been delayed time and time again with the latest date set for January 2020 despite the HSE transferring the service to Rehabcare over a year ago.

“Due to open in July this year, Seaview opening date was moved to August, then September, then November and now to January 2020. As a result, families have missed out of a summer respite service during a time when many events and family holidays take place.

“Not only have families been dealt a blow with the litany of delays, but once reopened, Rehabcare will only be facilitating a 5-day non-weekend service, despite demand for a 7-day service by over 100 families reliant on the service and a commitment from Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath to look into a full service. This is also despite the fact that Seaview Respite House has been over for 7-days in the past meaning there is no reason why this can’t be reinstated again.

“My question to the Taoiseach is why have delays amounted to over a year and could the reason be that the HSE has been using the transition of management to Rehabcare not to make any financial commitments to address the cost overruns within the health system?

“And will he put the necessary pressure on the HSE to install a 7-day service at Seaview Respite home to cater to families in South/Southwest Donegal?

“The Taoiseach replied by saying it is possible Seaview will have 7-day respite service in the future once funding is secured. While this offers some hope I am sceptical as to when this may commence and will be following developments closely to make sure everything is done to make this happen.

“Families should not have had to wait over a year just to end up with an incomplete respite service. A 5-day service will do little to families who want to attend weddings, christenings or Holy Communions, all of which occur over the weekend.

“I cautiously welcome the Taoiseach’s reply but do not believe it will bring much reassurance to families in Co. Donegal who currently have respite needs now and in the near future.

“This will not be the end of the fight by families for a 7-day service. Fine Gael and Minister McGrath, in particular as the Minister for Disabilities will have a lot to answer for regarding the shortcomings in the provision of care for people with disabilities in Donegal and across the country” concludes Pringle.