Louth Assessments of Need delays breach Disability Act – Adams

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has said that it is unacceptable that 66 assessments of need in County Louth have not been completed within the 3 month time frame set out in the Disability Act 2005.

Deputy Adams was speaking following confirmation to him in a parliamentary question response (attached) which states that in Louth there are currently 66 assessments which were commenced more than three months ago and are still not complete.

Gerry Adams said,

“The Disability Act 2005 provides that any parent of a child born after 1st June 2002 who feels their child may have a disability can apply for an assessment of need.

“This assessment is designed to ascertain what additional needs a child may have and it helps identify services required to meet those needs.

“There is a statutory requirement for assessments to be started within 3 months of the completed application form being received by the HSE.  Thankfully the response to my parliamentary question indicates that there are no assessments breaching this timeline.

“Once an assessment is initiated the legislation states that it must be completed within a further 3 months.  In Louth there are currently 66 assessments in breach of this requirement.

“This delay is extremely serious as the completed assessment of need is used by the HSE to prepare a Service Statement which indicates what supports and services will be offered to the child.

“Any delay in the preparation of the service statement means a delay in services being allocated to the child and a subsequent delay in the child experiencing the benefits of any therapy recommended.

“I have met with parents of a child with additional needs who’s assessment of need was commenced in September 2017.  Almost a full year later this process is yet to be completed.  This is unfair on parents and vulnerable children and I have written to the Health Minister to request urgent additional resources to address these delays in County Louth.”