Minister admits not seeing Cregg House report

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch has admitted she has not yet read an HSE report that is understood to show that the Daughters of Wisdom offer better value for money than other service providers.

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch has admitted she has not yet read an HSE report that is understood to show that the Daughters of Wisdom offer better value for money than other service providers.

She made the admission in the Seanad on Tuesday night when responding to a motion tabled by Senator Marc MacSharry.

The Daughters of Wisdom announced last week that they were withdrawing their services from the Sligo residential care centre for people with intellectual disabilities which currently looks after 214 clients, a number of whom are from Donegal.

The order said it was unable to continue in light of a €1.3m funding shortfall caused by HSE cutbacks. Despite engaging in talks with the HSE over the last six weeks, the order said it had received no assurances that the issue of underfunding would be addressed.

The HSE subsequently issued a statement confirming that services at the facility would continue.

Senator MacSharry said he believes the government is “pursuing an agenda to drive Wisdom Services out” of Cregg House.

He added: “It defies logic to let them go if they are operating so well and are cheaper and more efficient than others, given the economic situation. I ask the Minister to intervene at this late stage to get them to stay on.” He expressed doubt as to whether the HSE or any other service provider would be able to run the service as well for the same or less money.

Minister Lynch gave assurances that services at Cregg House would not be curtailed.