Core funding of all current health services being provided by Community Employment Schemes

Irish Wheelchair Association relies on Community Employment Schemes to provide care and driving staff for core and essential services in IWA’s Resource and Outreach Centres (ROC’s) in 68 locations nationally, serving over 3,000 people weekly. Despite the government’s commitment under the Disability Act 2005 to protect and develop services for people with disabilities there has been no move to address this untenable situation. The most vital and basic services are still being delivered by Community Employment (CE) participants.

IWA acknowledges that many excellent and dedicated Community Employment participants have played a major role in the development and provision of services for the disability sector. However, disability services are at a critical stage where the quality and numbers of participants available is threatening IWA’s ability to continue to deliver services. More and more the IWA are finding that applicants for Community Employment schemes are totally unsuitable to work in the healthcare sector.

IWA’s position is supported by "Towards 2016" which states:

In its consideration of the core funding requirements of agencies providing services for people with disabilities, the Health Service Executive will be asked to take into account the appropriateness of core funding essential health and personal social services".

These core essential services are for many people their only support service, forming a lifeline for both people with disabilities and their families. The services provided by Community Employment have now become the mainstay of service provision to people with disabilities. All stakeholders, service users, voluntary organisations and the health services have become dependent on their remaining in place.