HSE and disability training support

 

Sir, – Letter writers take issue with the announcement of the discontinuation of the rehabilitative training (RT) bonus, which will yield a €3.7 million reinvestment for important disability day services over a four-year period (“Axing disability training support”, Letters, August 20th).

First, I would like to reassure those currently involved in the RT programme that they will retain their bonus payment until they finish their RT programme. Therefore, the decision to discontinue the RT bonus will not impact negatively on any individual currently involved in the scheme.

The letter writers ask why funding should be used to “boost services in other disability areas?” It is important to note that the ongoing payment of the RT bonus has added to service inequities that already exist in the provision of day services to adults with disabilities.

For example, many of the services provided to adults in day services are very similar to the content of RT programmes, yet people attending a day service do not receive a bonus payment. Through the reinvestment of funding, fairer and more inclusive services can be provided.

The letter also expressed concern at the possibility of young people with disabilities being excluded from further training. Careful consideration has been given to the use of these additional funds to ensure improvements in day services and further training. It is intended that the savings will be used to enhance part-time day service placements to full-time placements. It is also intended to provide day services for people that acquire a disability and are not eligible to receive funding allocated for school-leaver day service each year.

The €3.7 million will provide 270 enhanced placements nationally, or 148 new day placements to address priority unmet need. I am sure that you can see the merit in this course of action in order to ensure a better more inclusive service for all those with disabilities. – Yours, etc,

DAVID WALSH,

National Director,

Community Operations,

HSE,

Dublin 8.