Requests from the HSE for the family of a physically and intellectually disabled young man to measure his fluid intake have caused great upset, according to local Cllr Darren Ryan.
The South Tipperary family, who receive incontinence pads from the HSE for their son aged in his early 20s, were asked to record the amount of fluid given to him in a week, and submit the results to the HSE.
Cllr Ryan said he was contacted by the family, known personally to him, who were very upset by the request. “To say they were distraught would be an understatement,” said Cllr Ryan. It was his opinion that the HSE may be seeking to reduce the number of incontinence pads they provide the family. Speaking on behalf of the family, Cllr Ryan said a local public health nurse provided the family with the relevant documentation for recording the fluids.
He said he was not blaming the frontline HSE staff for this, but those in senior ranks, and government, in particular ministers Kathleen Lynch and James Reilly.
“Personally I think this is the lowest ebb any government has reached,” he said. The HSE responded by saying there has been no change to the supply of continence wear to patients. “It is standard practice that a ‘frequency volume chart’ is completed as part of the continence assessment/re-assessment process, in order to develop, maintain or update an appropriate care plan for clients.
“This aspect of the assessment, over a number of days, is important as it allows the nurse to ensure the patient is having an adequate fluid intake every day as well as to determine the type, shape, absorbency and size of continence product required,” said the HSE.
However Cllr Ryan said the young man has been incontinent his whole life and the family had never completed a ‘frequency volume chart’ previously. “I would completely dispute what they are saying and if it is not about cutting the number of pads, it is about changing the type used,” he said. “I strongly believe the intention is still to put cost-cutting measures in place.”