HSE accused of “discrimination” against disabled residents in Lucan and Clondalkin

by Mark O'Brien
The HSE Clondalkin/Lucan Centre on St. Loman’s Road

The HSE has been accused of discriminating against disabled residents living in council housing in the Clondalkin and Lucan area.

Councillor Mark Ward (SF) made the comments after it emerged that the HSE does not provide Occupational Therapy (OT) reports for council tenants in the area.

The reports are required for those applying for disabled person’s grant (DPG) and are provided to people living in other parts of the South Dublin County Council (SDCC)area.

Cllr Ward said: “Last year I had a motion passed that saw SDCC cover the cost of the reports for residents in Clondalkin on an interim basis.

“However, this has ceased and South Dublin County Council have informed me that this intervention is not sustainable going forward.”

Cllr Ward said that he has been informed by council tenants in Clondalkin that they were told the HSE does not have sufficient staff to provide the OT reports.

This is despite that fact that the reports are being provided to council tenants elsewhere.

“I find that the fact that all residents of SDCC are not treated the same absurd,” said Cllr Ward.

“Basically, someone living in Tallaght has enhanced services compared to someone living in Clondalkin. This situation has led to a two-tiered system.

“People apply for a DPG as their situation has changed to such an extent that they need their homes adapted to enable them to live comfortably in their homes.

“A lot of times their financial situation has changed because of their deteriorating health. An OT report can cost anything up to €300 and some Clondalkin residents are left without the required modification to their homes.”

Cllr Ward raised the issue directly with the HSE and was told that they would speak with SDCC to resolve the issue.

He said: “Talk is cheap and I want to see action from the HSE so vulnerable members of our society have the same level of service as others.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that in 2017, it undertook a collaborative initiative with South Dublin County Council to assess tenants awaiting OT assessments. 54 referrals were received by the HSE and these reports were completed.

The HSE spokesperson added: “Following this collaboration a report was completed by the HSE and further discussion between South Dublin County Council and HSE was recommended to determine a sustainable model for the assessment and grant reports for homeowners and tenants who are seeking grant assistance from SDCC.

“The HSE will continue to work with South Dublin County Council in regard to this report.”

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