Zero Progress On Children’s Disability Network Teams Over Last Three Years – Murphy O’Mahony.Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD has slammed the ongoing lack of progress in the provision of children’s disability services. She was commenting after receiving new information showing that the number of Children’s Disability Network Teams remains at 56, more than three years after services were reconfigured.
“HSE Service Plans for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 all stated that work to reconfigure children’s disability services into geographically based Children’s Disability Network Teams was underway. At the start of 2016 there were 56 teams in place with another 129 teams to be up and running by the end of that year”, said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
“When I raised this issue in Dáil last year, I was told the new teams would be in place by the end of 2018, however the latest figures supplied to me reveal there are still only 56 teams across the country.Zero Progress Children’s Disability.
“Furthermore, the target for these teams has now been reduced to 96, with the HSE claiming that they will all be in place by the end of the year. However, it is really is not acceptable that a target set in 2016 – even in its reduced form – should remain unmet more than halfway through 2019.
“Not only are there not enough Children’s Disability Network Teams, the waiting times for children to receive a first assessment for occupational therapy are truly shocking. Currently there are 7,615 under 18s waiting for an assessment for more than twelve months. We have also seen increases in speech and language therapy waiting lists this year with some 3,118 waiting over a year for services.
“Budget 2019 has promised 100 extra therapists but given the pressures on the HSE finances I am not confident that the posts will be filled in 2019”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.