Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West and Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that the wait times for Assessments of Need for children with disabilities in Cork and Kerry are now close to two years on average.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after receiving an update from the HSE on the average wait times at present.

“The figures are just shocking. There’s no two ways about it. The HSE has confirmed that children assigned to the Brothers of Charity are waiting on average 28 months, 24-36 months at the Cope Foundation and 18 months at St. Joseph’s Foundation.

“At present, there are 1,150 children in both counties waiting at Stage II of the Assessment of Need process. This is a scandalous situation and flies in the face of what the legislation states should be happening.

“The Disability Act states that an Assessment of Need should be started within three months of an application and concluded within a further three months.

“The Government has overseen a shocking rise in waiting times for children with disabilities. The net result is children not getting the early intervention they so desperately need.

“Without an Assessment of Need, children with disabilities do not get access to the services or treatments they are due further diminishing their, and their families’, quality of life.

“We need a plan to deal with these disgraceful waiting lists. There is clearly not enough capacity and that must be rectified. We are damaging children with such terrible waiting times,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.