The HSE officially opened two new children’s services in Sligo yesterday (Monday November 23rd), the Solas Children’s Respite Service on the Old Bundoran Road Sligo and the Early Intervention Service based in Nazareth House, Churchill, Sligo.
The Solas Children’s Respite Service provides planned and emergency overnight and day respite to children with a learning disability and autism in the Sligo / Leitrim area. The service operates from a new purpose built bungalow, which was developed at a cost €1.35 million which was funded under the National Development Plan.
The respite service is individually tailored for children and their families and offers children the opportunity to get together with friends, engage in activities and develop independence while providing families and carers with respite. The facility was designed to meet the needs of children with a playroom, multi-sensory room, soft play area and outdoor play area. The service can accommodate up to six children at a time and there are currently 75 children in the area receiving respite care.
The Early Intervention Service based in Nazareth House, Sligo is a community service which works with parents to assess, diagnose and provide intervention for children who have development delay which requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Early Intervention Team consists of Consultant Community Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Autism Therapist, Counsellor for special needs, Dietician and Early Intervention Team Manager.
Last year specialist disability capital funding of €250,000 was secured to adapt Nazareth House to provide child and family friendly assessment and treatment areas. At present there are 133 children and families, from both Sligo and Leitrim, availing of services with the Early Intervention Team.
Pat Dolan, HSE Local Health Manager spoke of the significance of these new services for the people of Sligo and surrounding areas. He said” These new facilities will further enhance the services the HSE provides to children with disabilities in Sligo / Leitrim and their families.
"We remain committed to continually working with families to endeavour to meet their needs. The Solas Centre provides a safe and caring environment for children which allows their families the opportunity to deal with emergencies in their lives or take care of other important priorities. Solas operates an open door policy to all our families / carers."
The Early Intervention Service in Nazareth House works in partnership with children and their families on their journey through assessment, diagnosis and intervention, enabling each child to reach their full potential.
Other HSE Services, Audiology Service for Children and Adults, Disability Act Assessment Officer and Speech and Language Therapy Clinic rooms are also based at Nazareth House. Mr Dolan acknowledged the enormous contribution of the Sisters of Nazareth for the use of the building.
Pictured: Mary Talbot, Learning Disability Services, Eamon Scanlon TD, Margaret Higgins,
Jimmy Devins TD, Pat Dolan, Local Health Manager for Sligo/Leitrim, HSE West,
Maria Gilmartin, Manager and Cara O'Neill, General Manager, Community Services
in Sligo/Leitrim at the opening of Solas Children's Respite, Old Bundoran Rd,
Sligo, which provides planned and emergency overnight and day respite to
children with a learning disability and autism in the Sligo / Leitrim
Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8
More photos from the day, by James Connolly, can be seen in the Social Section