CRC Annual Report 2022

09 August 2023

AR 2023 Web Version
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'The year 2022 was one of change and challenge. We said goodbye to our old Strategic Plan 2017– 2021 and in April 2022 we launched our strategy for 2022–2026, an exciting plan which focuses on the themes of Excellence, Culture, Growth and Partnerships. We also said goodbye to our previous CEO, Ms. Stephanie Manahan, and we would like to thank her for her service to CRC.

Towards the end of 2021 we saw the reconfiguration of children’s services to the Progressing Disability model of service delivery (PDS). This reconfiguration meant that both our existing specialist and children’s services had to establish new ways of working, necessitating a significant period of change for both CRC staff and the children, adults and families who use our services. While the model for PDS promises to make accessing healthcare easier for children and their families, this reconfiguration period has presented many challenges and obstacles for the CRC to navigate. As 2022 progressed, the impact of this significant change emerged, including recruitment and retention difficulties. This was exacerbated by a national shortage of qualified staff having to navigate inherited waitlists, resulting in delays to providing timely supports to many children.

The CRC is doing its utmost to address the challenges of recruitment and our five Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) are developing initiatives to tackle the issue of waitlists as discussed further under the heading Strategic Plans and Challenges on page 12. We will continue to work towards resolving these challenges throughout 2023 and as a Section 38 service, we are continually engaging with the HSE and the government to find solutions and to advocate on behalf of families and children to address the ongoing challenges of PDS.

Despite facing similar recruitment challenges and restructuring, our National Specialist Services have managed to grow their service provision in 2022, by promoting research and continuing to provide clinical services to children and adults as experts in physical disability. In 2022, National Specialist Services also focused on providing training and education to the wider disability sector, including the ninety-one CDNTs across the country. In line with our strategic plan, we aim to grow our national remit and to contribute further to research for the benefit of the clients we support.

In 2022 we continued to develop our Adult Services and over the last number of years we have seen immense growth in this area. In line with the HSE New Directions policy and our strategic plan, we are developing our portfolio of services. This is spearheaded by the expansion of our locations from four in 2016 to now ten locations throughout Dublin. Our services now operate within communities, closer to where our adults live. The adults are working with teams committed to supporting them in advocating for real change and influencing national policy.

Our schools continue to do what they do best, supporting 160 children to develop emotionally, socially and educationally and to equip them with the skills necessary to build a good life and face the world head on. There has been great excitement in Clondalkin as plans are underway for a new school building. This will take several years to complete, but we are all delighted to see this work progressing.

The new building for Scoil Mochua is a part of our ambitious capital development plan, which also includes the development of a new National Specialist Service building in Clondalkin and exciting plans for our Clontarf site. This plan will focus on upgrading our current facilities to continuously improve the environment in which we offer services to our clients, while also ensuring our facilities are more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of our support staff. In 2022 our support services have worked alongside our frontline teams to navigate change and develop and support existing and new services. Thank you all for your unwavering support as we transition and grow our service provision in line with national reconfiguration.

As Interim CEO for the past twelve months, I have been privileged to serve this wonderful organisation and to lead during this very challenging time. I am grateful to our volunteer board who have provided immeasurable support and guidance. We are extremely lucky to do the job we do, providing clinical, educational and social care supports to thousands of children, adults and their families. I am delighted to be able to say I work alongside an incredible team of talented and committed professionals, who provide services to clients, despite the challenges that we are all facing.

All of these changes have been both monumental and challenging, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our teams for their hard work and resilience during this reconfiguration and transition period. I look forward to working with you all in 2023 with an increased focus on service excellence, continued growth, improved culture and building new and rewarding partnerships.'

Alison McCallion

Interim Chief Executive Officer