Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says people with disabilities are experiencing serious problems accessing home support and PA services because there simply aren’t enough being provided.

New figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that people approved for these services are receiving less than two hours a day.

Deputy Chambers explained, “I have had serious difficulties in accessing home support and Personal Assistant services for people living in Mayo.  These figures reveal why.  There are 416 people with a physical and sensory disability across Mayo, Galway and Roscommon who have access to a PA, however only 71,877 hours have been allocated – that’s less than 2 hours a day.

“The figures for home support services make for even more worrying reading – only 44,585 hours for 705 recipients – less than one hour a day.

“These numbers are pitiful and are nowhere near what is needed to provide a functioning service.  The current system is penalising people with disabilities who want to live independent lives – it’s simply not credible to expect them to go about their day to day lives with less than two hours support per day.

“Minister McGrath needs to look at ways of both increasing the average number of hours per person, and ensuring that there are PA hours made available to people with disabilities.  This would allow more people with disabilities to live independent lives in their own homes, rather than being forced to stay in hospitals or nursing homes.

“These are important schemes and should be maximised and I am calling on the Minister to seriously examine the options open to him to increase the hours available for these important supports”.