Report highlights lack of respite care

Wednesday 13 April 2011 19.47
Hospice - Report says respite care for children is not available in 11 counties
Hospice - Report says respite care for children is not available in 11 counties

Respite care is not available to all families of a child with a life-limiting condition, such as cancer, in 11 counties, a new report has found.

Limited access to respite care currently depends on factors such as the child's age, diagnosis, prognosis and where they live, according to the report.

The report by Prospectus Consulting was commissioned by the Children's Sunshine Home and the Irish Hospice Foundation.

It says the need for respite services in the home and out of home for children with life-limiting conditions will increase in the years ahead.

The report adds that a budget of over €10m a year is needed to provide the necessary services.

It examined care in the Health Service Executive's Dublin Mid Leinster and Dublin North East areas.

Nationally, there are 1,400 children living with a life-limiting condition and most are usually cared for at home.

Around 350 deaths occur each year and usually in the first year of life.

The report says that a well structured respite service would reduce hospital admissions and allow parents to also spend time with their other children.