Spending a few days alone with Pádraig. Catching up. It feels like this is what I should be doing. Spending time with him.

During a break, I went through the recently published Irish 2017 Budget but could not find any reference to any budget allocated to neurological rehabilitation. I had heard that money had been allocated. So either I did not find the relevant reference or moneys were not allocated. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong document? I’ll try to find out…

What definitely has not happened is any action by or reply to our questions from the Attorney General of Massachusetts Mary Healy. I wrote to her office, met her officials in June of this year, and was promised an investigation. Four months have passed – and no reply. I know that some of you wrote to her too in 2015, as did I, and never ever received a reply. Strange to think that something like this would be possible… I will follow up with her office as well.

Róisín Shortall, T.D., recently asked a parliamentary question in relation to the An Saol Pilot Project and An Saol’s proposal presented to the Minister of Health and the HSE. She did get a reply. – Fair play to Róisín for having followed up on the discussions I had with her, keeping the Department on their toes. – The HSE apparently have not yet responded.



DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Finian McGrath T.D.)
by Deputy Róisín Shortall
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 06/10/2016  

 *  To ask the Minister for Health his views on a proposal to establish a pilot programme to provide day-care and therapeutic supports to people with acquired brain injuries (Details supplied) and if he will consider allocating funding for this proposal in the 2017 service plan.

Róisín Shortall T.D.

Details Supplied: The proposal presented to his Department by the An Saol project,

The Minister for Health, along with Department and Health Service Executive (HSE) officials, recently met with representatives of An Saol Project, at which they outlined their ideas for the project.  I understand that the HSE will consider the proposal in the context of the ongoing estimates / budgetary process and the resources made available for the National Service Plan for 2017.

I have referred the Deputy’s question to the HSE for a more detailed reply on the matter.

And here is part of an email from a friend with another reply – this time from Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett.

I am just forwarding you an email I got from Richard Boyd Barrett about a question he asked in the Dail re Neuro Rehabilitation Services. (…) I’m sure you probably have heard the reply (given you have met Finian McGrath).. (…) I feel that you have moved rehabilitation for people with #sABI out of the wings and on to centre stage.. and this is a positive.

Please find below the PQ and reply which I put forward on your behalf. As you will see we are still awaiting a reply from the HSE which I will forward to you as soon as I receive it. Best Regards Richard Boyd Barrett

QUESTION NO: 211 DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Finian McGrath T.D.) by Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett for WRITTEN ANSWER on 06/10/2016 *

To ask the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the call for immediate action to direct a comprehensive revision of the proposed Plan for Neuro-rehabilitation Services by his Department and the Health Services Executive, which is required to ensure adequate funding and co-ordination of these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Richard Boyd Barrett T.D.

REPLY. The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. The Programme for Partnership Government places a particular focus on a number of key programmes and strategies, including publishing a plan for advancing Neuro-rehabilitation services in the community. Currently a steering group led by the Health Service Executive Social Care Division has drafted an implementation framework for the National Policy & Strategy for Neuro-rehabilitation Services, which will guide and oversee the development of Neuro-rehabilitation structures and services at national and local level. Alongside these developments, the Government announced a major development of the National Rehabilitation Hospital which will deliver a purpose built hospital on the site with 120 beds and include support therapies, paediatric and acquired brain injury wards, a hydrotherapy unity and a sports hall. As the Deputy’s question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.’

That Richard Boyd Barrett replied is in contrast with Attorney General of Massachusetts. I wrote to Maura Healey on 28/6/15 and never heard anything back.