Years long waiting list for child disability assessment ‘unacceptable’

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

Current waiting times for child disability assessments are unacceptable, a Junior Minister has said.

As some children have been waiting years for an assessment, a new €7.8 million initiative has been announced to tackle the problem.

Minister of State for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte said work is underway to recruit staff in a bid to clear waiting lists.

One of the reasons we end up with waiting lists is that we don’t have enough people actually carrying out the assessment of needs.

“One of the reasons we end up with waiting lists is that we don’t have enough people actually carrying out the assessment of needs, so that’s what the €7.8 million was sourced for,” she said.

Ms Rabbitte described the current delays as unacceptable and said she wants to see appointments made within three months of an application.

“My objective is to clear out the backlog of the assessment of needs, and then part of the solution is to aim to increase my budgetary 2021 ask of more clinicians to come on board,” she said.

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“[That’s] to ensure that those children, as they come through the delivery of the assessment of needs process, that we will have clinicians there, be it in OT, speech and language, physio.”

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