The mother of a 12-year-old girl who is still in hospital - despite being deemed medically fit to leave for the past six months - has appealed to the HSE for help to get her child home now.

Samantha Buckmaster from Kildare has said the family are at their wit's end trying to get her daughter Sophie home.

Sophie, who has autism, was originally admitted to hospital last July after a seizure.

She was diagnosed with encephalitis, or a swelling on the brain. She is now physically disabled, tube-fed, doubly incontinent and non-verbal.

However, last November the family was told she was medically well enough to be discharged.

Despite that she is still in hospital, and has spent many big occasions there - including Christmas and her birthday.

Ms Buckmaster has said it is very difficult to leave her daughter in hospital every day

Last March, the HSE finally approved a substantial home care package.

But the family has said there is still no provider for this and Sophie remains in hospital.

Ms Buckmaster has said it is very difficult to leave her daughter in hospital every day.

She has said they need round-the-clock care in order for Sophie to come home.

Ms Buckmaster has said she is not sure that Sophie understands why she is still in hospital and she does not want her to feel as though the family are just leaving her in hospital and not taking her home because they do not want to.

The HSE has said it cannot comment on individual cases.

However in a statement it said it is working with the family and the Children’s Hospital Group in regard to the issues raised. 

It has said the HSE Tender Application Process for this home care package has now closed.

Currently, applications are being analysed for suitability to support the complex needs of the client. 

It has said that the HSE will be following up directly with the family.

Family Carers Ireland has said more needs to be done for families in this situation.

It has called for a statutory entitlement to home care which gives a family who needs it, the right to supports and services in their home.

Sophie's mum is appealing to the HSE to act urgently.

She has said that she just wants her child to come home now and the help they need to get her home.