Over 2,000 children on disability waiting lists in Cork and Kerry

More than 1,400 of these children had been waiting for over a year.
Over 2,000 children on disability waiting lists in Cork and Kerry

CDNTs are teams of health and social care professionals, including nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, social work and others.

MORE than 2,200 children in Cork and Kerry were on waiting lists for Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) at the end of September this year, it has been revealed.

Information obtained from the HSE shows that 2,257 children were on CDNT waiting lists in CHO 4 at the end of September this year.

More than 1,400 of these children had been waiting for over a year.

Just last month, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare revealed that CDNTs in Cork were facing high numbers of complaints from service users and partners in the health and education sector due to a lack of resources.

CDNTs are teams of health and social care professionals, including nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, social work and others.

The CDNT scheme was rolled out by the HSE last year in a bid to provide a range of supports to children with complex needs and their families, in their respective regions.

Last month, a spokesperson for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare highlighted challenges in the form of higher than predicted caseloads, a lack of suitable workspaces, resources and admin support, as well as no suitable integrated information management system.

The spokesperson also revealed that CDNTs across Cork are dealing with “high numbers of complaints” from service users, the education sector and other health services.

VACANCY RATES

Meanwhile, the staff vacancy rate for CDNTs across Cork/Kerry stood at 18% at the end of August this year.

In a statement to this reporter, the HSE said it “acknowledges the challenges in meeting the demand for children’s disability services and is acutely conscious of how this impacts on children and their families”.

“In line with the Progressing Disability Services model, resources assigned to children’s disability services are allocated to 91 CDNTs, which provide services and supports for all children with complex needs within a defined geographic area.

“Regardless of the nature of their disability, where they live, or the school they attend, children with complex needs and their families receive family-centred services and supports according to their individual needs.

“This includes universal, targeted and specialist supports, such as individual therapeutic intervention and access to specialist consultation and assessment when needed. Supports are provided as is feasible in the child’s natural environments.

The spokesperson added that, historically, the number of children waitlisted for such children’s disability services has not been available nationally.

“The establishment of CDNTs will facilitate the collection of this data,” they said.

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