Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD has announced the timeline for delivery of nine new Respite Houses for people with disabilities.

The provision of the houses is included in the HSE 2021 National Service plan, totalling an expenditure of €5.5 million, which was committed to in Budget 2021.

Minister Rabbitte said:

One of my key commitments over the past 12 months has been to bolster the level of respite in all its forms for people with disabilities across the country. Part of this was a commitment to provide funding to the HSE to develop an additional high-quality, respite centre in each Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO). I am delighted to announce today the progress made in delivering each of these over the course of the next six months.

I am particularly pleased to announce that CHO Dublin North City & County Disability Services will open “The Hamlet” based in Swords, Co Dublin, in September 2021. The Hamlet is a bespoke house developed to provide specialist respite services to children and families in the area and is an exciting and welcome addition to existing respite services for people with disabilities.

I have met with many service users, families, and providers, and know how important respite can be for relieving pressure and increasing quality of life. That is why I secured an additional €5m in Budget 2021 to specifically enhance respite provision for people with a disability and their families.

I also ensured that the full year allocation was available from January 2021, which allows for time-related savings to be used on a once off basis to enhance existing respite provision or to provide alternative and outreach respite. My goal is to ensure that the full allocation made available from January 2021 is used to enhance respite provision in all forms.

I am very grateful to the hard work of the HSE who, in addition to facing time challenges associated with procurement, were facing unprecedented difficulties around the Covid-19 surge earlier this year, coupled with the need to prioritise the vaccination rollout, as well as dealing with the impact of the criminal cyber-attack on HSE systems and communications.

The following outlines the current status in each CHO:

CHO Update Expected Opening 
CHO 1 has completed a review of respite needs and has agreed to use the funding available to provide a respite service for children in the Sligo-Leitrim area.  They will shortly commence the procurement process for the service.  In the interim, time-related savings will be used to enhance the level of respite being provided through existing respite services for children and adults in Donegal and Sligo.  They will also procure increased day respite through existing providersQ1 2022
CHO 2 has progressed a procurement process and is expected to finalise a decision this week.  The service being developed is for children with complex medical needs.  It will be located in Galway.  The time-related savings in this area are being used to provide alternative respite options in Mayo, Galway and RoscommonQ4 2021
CHO 3 had a facility ready for opening once the revenue funding was allocated.  This service for children with complex support needs, being provided by St Gabriel’s, commenced in May 2021Q2 2021
CHO 4 has completed a procurement process and have confirmed the outcome to the applicants.  A respite service for adults will be developed in Cork by the Brothers of Charity.  CHO 4 are engaging with service providers in the area, through the Residential Forum, to allocate time-related savings to provide alternative respiteQ4 2021
CHO 5 will complete the procurement process for the provision of an adult respite service in Kilkenny on 19/7/2021.  They are using the time- related savings to provide emergency respite to a number of people in crisis.Q4 2021
Renovation works on an existing house are being progressed through the tendering process

Service will be developed by HSE – Southside Residential Intellectual Disability Service for adults


The CHO is using time related savings to provide respite to a number of children and adults who are in crisis.

Q4 2021
CHO 7 has a development plan for the provision of respite for children, with a component of the development to focus on the needs of children with complex behaviour support needs. They are engaging with a service provider to commence the service in Q4.  The CHO will use

time -related savings to undertake a project to review existing respite provision across the area, develop the system for respite allocation that is equitable and develop a proposal for future service needs

Q4 2021
CHO 8 has developed a proposal to open a respite service for adults in a house owned by the HSE in Offaly.  This service will be developed in collaboration with Muiriosa Foundation.  Minor capital works will shortly commence.  Time -related savings will be allocated to enhance and increase a number of alternative respite services in the areaQ3 2021
CHO 9 is developing a respite service for children called “The Hamlet” based in Swords, Co Dublin and scheduled to open for children and families during September 2021. The Hamlet is a bespoke house developed to provide specialist respite services to children and families in the area.

Time- related savings in the current year are being used to provide enhanced respite and alternative respite through service providers in the area.

Q3 2021
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