TD calls for solution to waiting lists for Autism services in Dublin West

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

A Sinn Féin TD for Dublin West has spoken out against waiting lists for Autism services in Dublin West.

Paul Donnelly recently submitted a question to the Health Service Executive (HSE) in relation to a young child in Dublin 15 who has not been able to avail of these services.

“I am sadly not surprised at the shocking answer that I received back from the HSE,” said Mr Donnelly.

The response from the HSE highlighted the pressure the service is under stating that Blanchardstown CDNT currently has a caseload of approximately 350 open and 185 waitlist children.

“We also receive an average of 12-15 new referrals per month, who are added to our waitlist. The length of the waiting list is determined by the number of children referred and the staffing levels available within the service.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible to inform you an exact time frame when your child will be seen however, to give you an indication we are currently seeing children referred in 2019,” the service stated.

Commenting on the response, Mr Donnelly stated: “It is not acceptable in this day and age that children, who need an assessment to access services, are left on waiting lists for years. I will be raising this directly with the minister as soon as we return after the Easter break”.

The HSE has claimed that it is actively working to reduce waiting times for services.

“The team has taken more than 180 children off the waitlist and made them active since reconfiguration,” the letter stated.

The service outlined additional supports for children and families waiting for services, such as monthly interdisciplinary advice clinics and parent workshops, which parents are notified about via email.

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