HSE Publish Information on when Services will Re-open

July 29 2020, 10:49am

Sign reading: 'Come in. We're Open.'

DFI welcomes yesterday’s publication ‘A Safe Return to Health Services’, particularly the news that core disability services will be re-opening in phase 1. But we await further details on potential changes to how services are delivered. 

The HSE’s ‘A Safe Return to Health Services’, outlines when services that were suspended or reduced due to COVID-19 will resume. It includes information on disability and mental health services, and mainstream health services. 


There are three phases:

Phase 1: July–August 2020

Phase 2: September–November 2020

Phase 3: December 2020–February 2021


The following disability services will re-open in phase 1:

  • Home support services
  • Short stay residential
  • Emergency / residential respite
  • Select day services
  • Disability networks


Activity will increase in these services over phase 2 and 3.

Bernard O'Regan, the Head of Strategy and Planning in HSE Disability spoke in a video on the safe restart of adult disability services

In a press release today, the Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte announced that a HSE web portal will detail reopening dates for every disability day service, and the number of users that will be able to use the service each day. It will go live from the 4th August. 

The HSE document states that people need services to resume as quickly as possible, but that it won’t be possible to restore services in the same way due to COVID-19. 

Potential changes to services include infection prevention and control measures, reduced capacity in facilities and use of telehealth.

Minister Rabbitte stated that capacity in many day services will be reduced due to social distancing measures. 

Worryingly, funding is not mentioned in the HSE document. Additional funding is needed to cover the cost of cleaning, PPE,  making changes to buildings and more. 

Staff redeployed to residential services and to COVID-19 related areas will need to be replaced.

There is a lack of information on other types of services provided by our members such as peer support, family support, therapy services, social programmes etc. Dedicated guidance and support is needed from the HSE.  

We will continue to advocate on these areas.