Deputy Broughan has been consistently raising the issue of the long delays for parents in accessing an assessment of needs for their children, when required. Deputy Broughan has represented many constituents who have been concerned and upset at the lack of early intervention assessments. The HSE has a statutory obligation to complete Stage 1 of the assessment process within 3 months of receiving an application. Figures released recently to Deputy Broughan show that the average length of time to complete an assessment of need stood at 18.48 months in 2018 and that there were 3,611 overdue applications at the end of 2018.
Deputy Broughan recently requested figures from the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, on the numbers of under 18s waiting for a child and adolescent mental health service appointment in the Community Health Organisation Area of North Dublin. Deputy Broughan requested that these numbers be broken down into those waiting for an appointment for between 3 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months and more than 12 months.
In a reply from the HSE, received by his office last week, Deputy Broughan was dismayed to see that 16 vulnerable young people have been waiting for an appointment in CHO 9 for more than 12 months. 30 have been waiting for between 6 to 12 months and a further 32 waiting for 3 to 6 months. Therefore a total of 74 under 18s are having to wait for longer than 3 months for an appointment in age-appropriate mental health services. CHO 9 comprises Dublin North, North Central and North West.
In early November 2015, Deputy Tommy Broughan asked the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, to detail the number of persons on waiting lists for procedures at Beaumont Hospital. At the time, Deputy Broughan received a reply from the RCSI stating that 10,597 persons were on waiting lists, 3,280 of these up to three months, 2,203 from 3 months plus to 6 months, 991 from 6 months plus to 8 months, 1,771 from 8 months plus to 12 months, 1,080 from 12 months plus to 15 months, 773 from 15 months plus to 18 months and 499 for 18 months plus and at the time just 1,030 of these had dates for treatment.
The Minister and Minister of State are well aware that early assessment and intervention are critical for children with ASD and other disabilities. A couple of years ago, the then Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, told me that the Beechpark Autism Services team was getting an extra five posts to try to reduce the waiting list. Under Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People, of which the Minister of State is also aware, 21 new posts were sanctioned for Dublin north. What is the current position on those posts? Last year, I was disappointed that the then Minister had not filled them. If they have been filled, what is the waiting list currently?
Deputy Broughan is concerned at information received by his office today that show higher instances of persons on waiting lists with no appointment date than those with appointment dates to see a consultant cardiologist at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9. Deputy Broughan asked the Parliamentary Question in response to the recent overcrowding and waiting list scandals […]
Deputy Tommy Broughan has expressed concern about the current waiting lists for diagnostic tests and procedures in some of our major hospitals. Research and best practice in medicine shows that early diagnosis gives people higher chances of survival and recovery. Information received today from the Health Service Executive shows that some patients are waiting for over 12 months for diagnostic tests and procedures in the following hospitals: Beaumont, St. Vincent’s, The Mater and University of Limerick.