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'HSE made errors when they calculated our funding cuts,' says Sunbeam House

The disability charity states that €55,000 in funding cuts was imposed on them in error and were only reversed once questioned.

HSE
HSE

THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive is imposing substantial funding cuts to charities such as disability groups as a result of the Haddington Road Agreement.

However, Sunbeam House in Wicklow said that the HSE had made “huge errors” in their calculations when they were looking into their funding.

Haddington Road

The HSE funds hundreds of organisations under Section 39 of the 2004 Health Act. Each year, agreements are met between the HSE and organisations on the level of funding.

Managing Director John Hannigan from Sunbeam House said that they first heard about their funding cut of €189,461 back in August, but said once they had their accountant look into the cuts they found that the HSE had cut €55,000 for something known as “time delay”. This is something Mr Hannigan said they never claimed funding for.

Mr Hannigan said:

They took money from us for things we have never got funding for. We have been given back the ‘time delay’ element €55,000 but there are still €57,000 in errors.

The way in which the cuts are announced has been cristicised by Mr Hannigan who said they draw their funding down from the HSE on a monthly basis.

“We only found out about the funding cuts at the beginning of one week in August and it was taken out of the budget a few days later. It has a serious impact on our cash flow,” he said.

Cuts

He said he knew that cuts in relation to the Haddington Road agreement were being spread across everyone, but said that it is difficult to explain that to families who they have had to withdraw transport services from.

Mr Hannigan said that two public meetings had been held to explain the curtailment in services the funding cuts would bring. He said parents were very angry and they were considering marching on the local HSE office to voice their concerns.

He added:

The fear is growing as to what funding cuts could be coming down the line next year.

In a statement from the HSE on the matter, they said that the Haddington Road Agreement sets out measures relating to “productivity, cost extraction and reform which together intends to achieve a required pay bill reduction of €150 million identified in the HSE Service Plan 2013″.

They said:

The agreement provides a framework and opportunities for managers within the health services, including agencies such as Sunbeam House Services, to reduce their costs associated with agency and overtime and a wide range of other pay costs, particularly through measures such as additional working hours and revised rates in respect of overtime.

The stated that agencies such as Sunbeam House services were requested to submit plans to the HSE outlining how they intended to achieve their necessary cost reductions in terms of the new consolidated pay scales and the additional hours available under the Haddington agreement without altering the level of front line services to be delivered as agreed in the service arrangements.

Requirments

The HSE said that Sunbeam House services “have been aware of these requirements since the beginning of the year” and were awaiting final confirmation in respect of the Haddington Road Agreement.

The HSE added that they plan to meet each organisation “to discuss issues particular them and ensure that an appropriate plan is put in place for them to deliver on its commitments under the agreement, while ensuring that service users and front line services are not impacted unduly”.

Read: HSE cuts €189,461 from Sunbeam House’s budget>

Read: HSE cuts €1 million from St Michael’s House budget>

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