Minister reassures families of continued support from Wisdom Services

14 June 2012

Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability Services moved to reassure those receiving support from Wisdom Services of a continued service. The Minister said “I would like to reassure the families of the children and adults of people with disabilities who are currently receiving services that their service will continue to be provided. I am requesting the HSE to work with Wisdom Services to ensure continuity of service for all clients while a transition process is being put in place. I understand that Wisdom Services have written to families of service users and to staff, to reassure them of their co-operation in this process.”

The Minister went on to say 'I am very disappointed to learn that the Daughters of Wisdom, who operate Wisdom Services, have advised the HSE that they intend to withdraw from the provision of services on behalf of the HSE in Sligo. The HSE have been working with Wisdom Services for some time to address their financial concerns and identify opportunities for efficiencies and savings, through potential new combinations of service delivery in the north-west area. Unfortunately despite detailed engagement with the HSE, I regret that Wisdom Services has now decided to withdraw from service provision.’

"I would like to thank Wisdom Services for their dedication and commitment to providing services to children and adults within the North West since 1955, their willingness to assist in ensuring a smooth transition and I wish them well for the future” the Minister said.

The transition process now being put in place will assess the most appropriate way to continue service provision for all existing clients, including the potential for new combinations of service delivery in the area.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Wisdom Services is a voluntary body operated by the Daughters of Wisdom which has provided services for children and adults with intellectual disability in the north western region since 1955. It currently supports 215 service users from a wide area, with 120 on campus, 75 in the community and 20 day attendees. This represents 23% of the total intellectual disability population in the Sligo, Leitrim, West-Cavan HSE area.

Wisdom Services were allocated €15.5 million by HSE in 2012 and has been funded consistently over the years. In addition, Wisdom Services were the beneficiaries of 38% of all intellectual disability development monies from this HSE area in the period 2006 to 2011, along with additional capital funding in this period. This compared favourably with the percentage of ID clients from this area covered by their services. Accordingly, it is not accepted that this service has been under-funded, allowing for the necessary reductions that have been applied evenly to all service providers in the last 2-3 years.

Under the HSE National Service Plan 2012, the disability budget nationally is being reduced by 3.7% in 2012. The NSP states that at least 2% of this should not impact on services and needs to be generated from other savings and increased efficiencies. However, despite this additional flexibility, Wisdom Services have indicated that they will have a significant budget deficit in 2012, even before recently identified cost containment measures take effect. The reduction in Wisdom Services budget for 2012 is consistent with other disability service providers in the region. While the HSE appreciates the financial difficulties encountered by Wisdom Services, unfortunately it does not have additional funding to address the deficit in Wisdom Services, given the current financial climate.