Keep the St. John of God Community Services Open

Keep the St. John of God Community Services Open

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Clarke Judith started this petition to Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O' Gorman TD and

St John of God Community Services has announced it will transfer its services to the HSE and will terminate its arrangement with the health service.

Currently, St John of God provides intellectual disability and mental health services to more than 8,000 people. They employ 3,000 staff and volunteers and provide services in 300 locations across counties Dublin, Kildare, Kerry, Wicklow, Meath and Louth.

More than 2,500 of those affected are in receipt of day, residential and respite services for people with a disability. 

The Order of St John of God has been providing these services for almost a century. There is a €27m annual funding gap and an accumulated deficit of €37.7m. A figure it said would be higher but for the contribution of €16m by the order.

This lack of funding has led them to use old vehicles and dilapidated buildings to run their service.

The group sent the formal letter of notice to the HSE and has communicated to the children and the adults they support in the last few days. 

Chief executive of St John of God Community Services Clare Dempsey this was a regrettable decision but one that was taken due to their financial position. Ms Dempsey said the group wrote to the Government to alert them of the funding gap and the accumulated deficit.

"In the face of an intractable funding crisis that has prevailed for over a decade, we simply cannot continue. We have endeavoured to resolve this over the years in talks with the HSE but without success." 

"In February of this year, we advised the HSE that the extent of the financial crisis was so acute that if the accumulated deficit and current funding requirements were not addressed, we would be left with no option but to serve 12 months notice to terminate the services."

"The step that we have now taken goes against what we want to do and what we have tried to do for almost a century, but we simply can no longer continue in this intolerable situation which has so frequently compromised (despite the best efforts of staff) the services and supports we provide to people."

We ask that the government engages with this service to resolve the situation and keep the service open. 

 

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