AN extension of the respite care services located in Garrettstown, near Garrylucas, was called for in the Upper House by Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard.
‘The building in which these services are located is fantastic,’ he said. ‘It is a massive structure with a great deal of potential. There are more than 20 rooms in the building, which is located at Garrylucas beach and which looks out on the most scenic part of the world one could ever come across. Currently, it is only open to the general public for four months each year. People come to my constituency office daily and weekly who are seeking respite care services.’
He added that there was ‘great annoyance’ that such a wonderful building was only open for four months of the year. Before the recession and the cuts, the service was open for eight months of the year, the senator said.
Senator Lombard also said the families in question do so much for the community and all they are seeking is a little more help. ‘Four nights of respite care given to a family for one year is really not sufficient when one takes into consideration the great work they do on behalf of the State and the Government,’ he added.
In response, Minister of State Jim Daly said Garrettstown is a regional respite service run by the Brothers of Charity in Cork in a rural coastal location close to the seafront. The respite service is currently seasonal whereby service users from Cork Kerry Community Healthcare can apply for short breaks during the summer months, he said.
‘In order to consider an extension of the service outside of the summer months, the service structure would require significant investment of both capital and revenue,’ he said. ‘Re-registration would be required with Hiqa and the current model of service would require review and restructuring to extend services.
‘Heating and insulation would also require significant upgrading. There are significant challenges to enhancing it to the provision of a year-round service, but it is one we can certainly continue to keep under review.’