Decision reached on future of RehabCare day service in Portlaoise

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Update on future of RehabCare day service in Portlaoise

Laois man Edward Coughlan wrote a letter to the HSE asking for RehabCare in Portlaoise to stay open

The RehabCare day service in Portlaoise is set to remain open for almost 60 people with various physical and intellectual disabilities.

RehabCare has secured €2 million to continue its work nationwide following crunch talks with Health Minister Simon Harris and Disability Minister Finian McGrath.

The new agreement has secured the cash needed to fund RehabCare’s services this year. The group had threatened to terminate the provision of services due to a HSE funding shortfall.

Rehab Group and its board are relieved that these care services for more than 3,000 people throughout 117 locations can now continue to be provided.

A young Laois man took action when decisions were being made and wrote a letter to the HSE pleading for the service to stay open in Portlaoise. 

Edward Coughlan from Ballyfin has special needs and he has asked the HSE ‘Please don’t close the RehabCare centre in Portlaoise’. He uses the service four days a week.

Edward’s mother Helen Coughlan said the service is a ‘life-saver’ and said the welfare and self-worth of the special needs community need to be a number one priority.

“It has been a life saver for him, providing him with a structure for his life that most of us get from employment and that without RehabCare would not be there for him," she said.

Mo Flynn is the CEO of Rehab Group.

“Every day we see the difference our work makes to the people who use our services and throughout this campaign we heard how much it would affect them were those services to be threatened.

"Many of people supported us by contacting their TDs, Councillors and Senators, and by holding days of action. We’re delighted their voices were heard by the HSE, Minister Harris and Minister McGrath.

“We welcome the fact that we have reached a resolution and that we can now continue to provide these vital services to the people of Laois who rely on them.

"The news will come as an enormous relief to the people in our services, their families and our dedicated staff who have worked so hard to campaign for the continuation of their services."

An online portal was set up on rehab.ie for people to contact politicians directly about keeping the service going.

MORE: Laois man with special needs writes plea to HSE to keep RehabCare in Portlaoise