118 children overdue Assessment of Needs appointments in Cavan and Monaghan – Smith


– Nationally over 5,000 children waiting longer than 3 months for first appointment HSE

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says urgent action is needed to clear the waiting list for overdue Assessment of Needs appointments for children.

The Disability Act 2005 states that an assessment of need must begin within three months of a completed application being received.  The assessment must be completed within a further three months.

The latest figures from the HSE reveal that at the end of March 118 children were overdue an assessment of need appointment in Counties Cavan and Monaghan combined.

Deputy Smith said, “No child should be waiting longer than three months for an initial appointment, yet these figures reveal that more than 5,000 children have been waiting in excess of the stated timeline across the country.  In Counties Cavan and Monaghan there are 118 children waiting on an overdue assessment.

“There is no doubt in my mind that these figures will have increased further over the past three months given the fact that all non-COVID related appointments have been cancelled.  While that was the right approach to adopt at the time, this is deeply worrying for the children and their families which will see their AON appointments delayed further.

“Unfortunately, disability services were not prioritised by the last government.  There is no excuse for children missing important assessment appointments – without these they are unable to access the care and supports they need.

“Thousands of children are being failed by the current system.  We need to see a radical shift in policy to ensure that disability issues are treated with the urgency they deserve.  Fianna Fáil wants to create a more inclusive society that ensures that the needs of people with disabilities are fully met – and that begins with Assessment of Needs”.