Review of needs assessment continues
by Diarmaid Mac a Bhaird

A joint review group made up of representatives of Fórsa and management will meet next week to continue work on revising the HSE’s ‘assessment of need’ policy, which governs the process of establishing the services required to meet children’s disability or health needs.


The review group was established to address a number of issues around the assessment of need policy, including a proposed limit on the amount of time spent with each child while conducting the assessment process.


Fórsa official Chris Cully said the review group was formed after concerns were raised regarding time limits within the policy having a negative impact on the disability assessment process.


“There are concerns about the capacity to deliver assessment of need services within the timelines laid down in the legislation,” she said.


Fórsa representatives on the joint review group include union officials and specialist professionals including speech and language therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists and assessment officers.


Chris added that Fórsa will be seeking to ensure appropriate staffing levels are in place to deliver the assessment of need services. Staff are currently working on the basis of practice in place prior to the changes to the assessment of need process, while the group is conducting its review.


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