More families sue the HSE over Assessment of Needs applications

Aodhan O'Faolain


Aodhan O'Faolain


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Three additional families with young children with special needs have launched High Court proceedings over the HSE's failure to complete assessments of their requirements.

The families, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and were represented in court by Derek Shortall Bl say they have been waiting for some time for assessments to be carried out on the children.

Counsel said the actions are similar to actions brought on behalf of three other families that came before the High Court last week.  

The families all claim that under the 2005 Disability Act the children must receive an initial Assessment of Need from the HSE within three months of an application being made.

The assessments themselves must be made within a further three months.

The process involves a multi disciplinary team made up of a occupational therapist, speech and language therapists, physiotherapist, and a psychologist.

When completed the assessment should include a diagnosis and a statement of services required by the child. They cannot be completed until all of the components have been completed.

It is claimed that in each of the three children's cases that no component of the assessment of need has been commenced, and no completion date has been indicated to the families.

In their proceedings against the Heath Services Executive the families seek an order compelling the respondent to complete  the Assessments of Needs within the required 30 days.

They also seek declarations that the HSE has failed to comply with its statutory obligation to complete the assessments within three months of one being requested, and complete the assessment within three months once it has started.

Permission to bring the actions was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Noonan at Monday's sitting of the High Court.

The Judge made all three cases returnable to a date in early June.