Don’t leave them Behind are very please to learn that as a direct result of our pre-xmas campaign to stop further redeployment of key staff in disability services away from their core work into swabbing and contact tracing has stalled after a significant intervention by the Minister for Disability Anne Rabbitte TD who expressed concerns about the proposed moves.
However, we are concerned that the HSE have warned the Minister that should the rate of infection rise the situation will alter.Ireland is experiencing record daily rates of infection with over 13,000 new cases yesterday .
In her letter to the CEO of the HSE Minister Rabbitte pointed out that the ” Services provided are essential “ and reflecting our concerns that this would result significant demands placed on families and carers.
In his response to the Minister the CEO Paul Reid stated ” staff working in Disability Services are not being redeployed from their current roles “ however the CEO went on to say that ‘ this will be kept under review in light of what is still an emerging situation and that ” any alteration in this position will only be as a result of significant changes in the rates of infection ……”
Having regard to the fact that with daily rates of over 13,000 cases a day equates to a ” significant change “ we are very concerned that the HSE will recommence their plans to redeploy these key staff in the coming days with the resultant damage to services .
We are familiar with the standard practice from the HSE of moving key specialist staff away from their core work to support the HSE”s COVID 19 activities and the failure of the HSE to show any concern for the damage this action causes ,we are aware through direct contact with many staff in the area that they have received unofficial notice from their line managers that the redeployment will be actioned if the current daily COVID numbers remain at these record high levels and if this transmission level results in major staff COVID sick Leave ,all of which will develop over the next 10 days .
The Minister and indeed all 5 Government Ministers with Disability in there job description must focus on this issue on a daily basis and have to ensure that this issue is on all agendas at Cabinet meetings that will determine further restrictions and redeployment of staff to deal with staff shortages .
We do not want specialist staff moved , we do not want day care service staff getting poached by HSE for swabbing and contact tracing work, we do not want to see Day Care Services hours cut-back as a result of decisions taken by the HSE so that the HSE can manage their own short comings in their recruitment and staff management area.
Don’t leave them behind will be keeping a watching brief on this key issue for 1000s of people with disabilities and their families and carers.