The HSE and service providers surpassed the delivery target of Personal Assistance (PA) hours for people with disabilities last year.

This was commended by the Minister of State for Disabilities, Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte.

PA hours allow people with disabilities to live as independently as possible, with the service user having full authority to self-direct the supports provided to them to meet their individual needs.

The target set out in the National Service Plan (NSP) for 2020 was just under 1.7 million PA hours, but the total delivered was 1.78 million, which equates to an additional 110,000 hours, or 6.7% above target.

This was achieved despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with the HSE and its partnered operating service organisations working within the confines of public health guidance.

Minister Anne Rabbitte has provided additional funding of €600,000 for PA hours in 2021, saying the area is in need of an investment boost.

She told Midwest News that health services have adapted to provide essential services throughout the country during the pandemic and the extra PA hours provided are further evidence of this.