HSE must move to provide additional posts for Disability Services – Brendan Smith

– New plan hopes to reduce backlogs in system –

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has received confirmation from the HSE that the Assessment of Need Officer post within Cavan/Monaghan Disability Services has now been filled.

Deputy Smith has been pressing the issue with the Minister for Disability Finian McGrath and the HSE for some time.

“While I welcome the fact that “an operational plan has been implemented to deal with the back log of applications for Assessment of Need and these are being dealt with in chronological order from date of application”, we need to see more than one post filled.  There are serious delays in assessment services and more staff need to be allocated to the services as a matter of priority”, said Brendan Smith.

“Just a few weeks ago I highlighted the fact that the number of children waiting more than three months for a first appointment in the North West region, which includes Cavan and Monaghan, is 157.  There are more than 200 children whose applications are overdue for completion.  Until children with disabilities receive their AON report, they are unable to receive the full therapeutic supports needed to enable them lead normal lives.

“These figures are a clear indication that more staff are needed.

“In its reply to me, the HSE states that “a strategic plan in regard to recruitment of additional staff has been submitted under the auspice of Progressing Disabilities in an effort to alleviate the current wait list for services”.

“This is a welcome development, but we need more than plans.  We need action.  I will continue to question the Minister and the HSE on the progress of this plan to ensure that additional staff are recruited as quickly as possible”, concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.