Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has called for clarity on the HSE’s recruitment campaign for OTs and SLTs after Tipperary parents were told that SLT appointments have been cancelled due to reassignment of therapists.
Teachta Browne said: “I have asked to be provided with the number of OTs and SLTs that have been taken on by the HSE during recent and current recruitment campaigns.
“I’ve asked for these figures due to the increasing number of parents of children who have been contacting me about the difficulties they are experiencing in accessing Assessments of Needs as well as Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language services.
“I have also been made aware of a family in South Tipperary having SLT services for their child withdrawn until further notice because the SLT who he had been allocated was reassigned elsewhere.
“The same family were also told that their child who has ASD would have to wait about two years for Occupational Therapy.
“This indicates to me that efforts to recruit staff are not proving to be either adequate or effective.
“We are in the midst of a real crisis due to a lack of staff and a seeming inability of the HSE to recruit enough staff to deal with the backlog of cases that has built up in recent years.
“Parents are increasingly finding themselves having to consider going private to get the services in a timely manner for their children, while many are being tasked with filling the gap in services themselves at home.
“For families of children with these needs to be told that they may have to wait up to two years for the developmental services their child needs is a failure of these young people whose development will be negatively affected as a result.
“We are talking about the future of our children here. We need clarity on how recruitment of these professionals is progressing, because there are serious concerns across County Tipperary that it is not succeeding.”
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