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Update: Current situation regarding the full resumption of our services and supports

24th September 2021


We are aware how difficult the pandemic has been for everyone and how challenging the past 18 months has been for people we support and their families. Fortunately, restrictions are easing and life is slowly getting back to normal - but we are not there yet. 


We want to reassure you that everyone at Cope Foundation is working hard to resume services directly impacted by Covid-19. We had to make some very difficult decisions in March 2020 in closing our day, residential and support services. We fully understand the impact these closures have had on those of you affected.


Right now, our services are resuming and we are currently operating at 60% capacity. We are anxious to see all our services return to full capacity as soon as it is possible for us to do so. But this is not as easy as we would like.


Our greatest challenge remains the availability of staff. This appears to be a nationwide issue across the healthcare sector. We are actively recruiting and you may have seen this in your local papers and online. However, we will not have sufficient levels of staff to reopen all services at full capacity by the 22nd of October. 


The staff shortages will result in some delays across our services. Regrettably, as a result of this we do not yet have a date for the full resumption of all of our services and supports. We recognise the challenges that this presents for families and carers and our teams are striving to get all of our services back up and running at full capacity. Unfortunately, some geographical areas are proving more difficult to staff than others so the full reopening of the services in these areas will be challenging.  


Covid-19 hasn’t gone away. The wellbeing, health and safety of the people we support, their families and our staff is still our number one priority. We are following current guidance from the HSE as it relates to service provision. This includes guidelines around physical distancing, symptom checking, good respiratory etiquette, hand washing, and more.  


We want you to know that everything is being done to fully reopen and resume our services and supports. It is what all our teams are committed to and striving for right now.


As we reopen, some of our services and supports may be a little different to what they were in pre-Covid times. The pandemic, as disturbing as it was, brought about important and positive learnings for some people we support, their families and staff in terms of ‘doing things differently’. We are grateful for these positive outcomes and we are committed to using these to develop some of our services and supports so that we are meeting people’s needs in a more personalised way.

Thank you, once again, for your patience and understanding throughout this time. The people we support and their families have proven to be an inspiration to us all as we navigated the unknown of the pandemic together. We also wish to acknowledge the staff team in Cope Foundation who have continued to support people in a committed and person-centred way, during what have been very testing circumstances.


We will write to families again once our plans for the coming weeks and months are more concrete.



Thank you.

Update on Cope Foundation services as a result of increased community spread of Covid-19


We welcome the latest update from the HSE regarding the vaccination rollout for Cohort 4:

“The programme of vaccination for people in Cohort 4 is commencing the week of March 8th. In line with the recommendations of the High Level Taskforce, this vaccination programme will target people aged 18 to 69 years with medical conditions which place them at very high risk from Covid 19. It also targets young people aged 16 and 17 years with high risk medical conditions. A proportion of people within Disability Services are included within Cohort 4. Vaccination rollout for people aged 16-65 in Disability Services will commence this week in residential facilities initially, with a target of 4,000 vaccinations for this week. The programme of vaccination for Cohort 4 will continue in the coming weeks.”

If you or your family has any questions or concerns, please contact the Manager of your local Cope Foundation service who will be able to assist you.


With the Covid-19 situation deteriorating and cases rising exponentially, the coming weeks will be incredibly challenging for Cope Foundation.

The rise in community transmission is starting to have an impact on Cope Foundation and we already have a number of staff isolating or restricting their movements. This is having an unavoidable effect on our ability to provide services to people we support.

Unfortunately, it is expected that we will need to curtail some of our services and supports so that we can keep people safe. People we support and their families will be contacted by the manager of their local Cope Foundation service directly to discuss how it may impact them.

We are confident that we can work together to limit the spread of Covid-19, and keep the people we support, our teams and the broader community safe. We are hopeful that once we turn a corner on this latest surge, we can look forward to the roll out of the vaccination programme and a safer, healthier 2021.

If you or your family has any questions or concerns, please contact the Manager of your local Cope Foundation service who will be able to assist you.

No change to our current services and supports during level 5

As the country moves into Level 5 of the 'Plan for Living with Covid-19' we would like to explain what this means for the services and supports we provide. So much work was done in recent months to resume and reconfigure services for people and Cope Foundation is hopeful that we will maintain this level of service for people during the new Level 5 restrictions.

The residential services, which have remained open during the pandemic, will continue to do so, and there is no change anticipated with this service. Visits to residential centres are restricted and may be permitted on a case by case basis.

In terms of the multidisciplinary supports provided by Cope Foundation, these will continue as they have been for the past few months. It will continue to be challenging to deliver these services, which have resulted in a reduced capacity, but therapists are working in different ways to be there for people.

Unfortunately, respite services for adults and children are closed, and it is not likely that these will reopen while the country is in Level 5. We are aware that this is incredibly difficult for a lot of people we support and their families, and we are acutely mindful of how challenging it is to be without this vital service. We will do what we can to resume respite when it is safe to do so. Emergency respite may be accommodated on a case by case basis.

Cope Foundation is determined to provide services safely to people over the coming weeks, but as is the nature of the Covid-19 situation, circumstances may change. People supported by the organisation and their families will be kept up to date with any changes.

Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation, says, "It's been a difficult time for the people we support in Cope Foundation and their families. We want to assure families and communities that our services and supports will remain the same during Level 5 restrictions. Everyone at Cope Foundation has worked hard to reopen and resume most of our services over the past three months, and we are hopeful we can maintain this level of service for people we support over the coming weeks as we continue to monitor the situation carefully".

Resumption and Reconfiguration of Services – August 2020 


We are pleased that a lot of progress has been made in recent times and we would like to highlight the work going on across Cope Foundation as we resume services. It should be noted that this work is based on public health guidance with oversight provided by the resumption and reconfiguration group. 


We ask for your patience and understanding as we communicate these plans to those directly affected over the coming days and weeks. Our goal is to provide more certainty. We are doing everything we possibly can to provide the best and safest service to people we support.  


Our ability to resume and/or reconfigure services is based on the current picture around transmission of the virus and is always subject to review as things change.  


Day Services, Community Hubs and Supports. 

  • Each person and /or their family will have a communicated plan by August 17th around the level and type of service they will receive in September. This will be reviewed regularly as the situation progresses. 

  • Partial resumption of 9 day service locations. 

  • 340 individuals are currently receiving outreach supports.  

  • Plans around the development of new community hubs are currently underway. 


Our Residential Locations 

  • Family visits were re-established at the end of June. 

  • Home visits commenced at the end of July on a person by person, planned basis and in adherence with  guidelines. 

  • Plans for the partial reopening of 2 pilot 5-day residences at the end of August 2020. 


Children’s Services 

  • Assessments and interventions for children are due to partially resume in August 2020. 

  • A plan for children’s respite has been developed and will be put in place by 21st September  

  • Home share has re-commenced  


Please contact your local service manager if you have particular concerns or needs and we will do our absolute best to support you.