Hundreds of children waiting for more than a year for OT appointments – Smith
24 August 2017
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the HSE to intervene to address rocketing waiting lists for Occupational Therapy appointments.
According to the latest figures released to Fianna Fáil, there are 379 children between the ages of 5 and 18 in the North West region who are waiting over a year for a first assessment with an OT. That’s up from 114 in August 2015 – or a rise of 232%. 376 of these children are in the Cavan-Monaghan area.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “Occupational therapy is an essential service to help people living with an injury or disability to go about their everyday lives, giving them independence and enabling them to adapt situations to suit their needs.
“Occupational therapists work in both hospital and community settings and the service is especially important for young people to enable them to do day to day activities. It’s particularly important for children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, dyspraxia and spina bifida. To have them subjected to such lengthy delays for assessment is extremely worrying and could have implications for their treatment plan.
“The dramatic rise in the number of children on the waiting list is shocking and these figures must act as a wake-up call for HSE bosses and the Minister for Health in realising the gravity of the situation. It is imperative that these waiting lists are made a priority in the 2018 HSE Service Plan,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.