Wexford TD Calls On Government To ‘Really Listen’ To Activists Regarding Disability Services

Sinn Féin TD for Co. Wexford Deputy Johnny Mythen has paid tribute to family activists who are campaigning for better children’s disability services in the county…

The group are set to have another protest in June with the intent of improving access to disability services for children.

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Mythen said

“Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNT’s) provide support services for all children with significant needs who require a team of professionals working together. Unfortunately, there are several major issues with the CDNT’s in Wexford, and this is being raised by amazing campaigners who are ‘making a fuss’ to improve children’s access to these services.

“I have raised some of these issues in the Dáil recently with the government. Firstly, in March it was reported to me that there are supposed to be six whole-time equivalent psychology posts in County Wexford’s Children’s Disability Network Teams, but there were only two in situ. This renders the disability network team almost unworkable, considering the waiting lists. This is causing untold damage and severe pressure for families, for the staff, and most of all for the vulnerable children themselves.

“Secondly, the waiting lists for these services is wholly unacceptable. Latest figures released to me showed that there are a staggering 445 children waiting for disability services in County Wexford. This is a very serious number and shows the extent of the problem. Each one of those 445 is a child who deserves to have the supports needed for a healthy and happy childhood.

“Finally, a key component of CDNT’s are family forums, which provides an opportunity for families like these campaigners to discuss general issues and ideas about the children’s disability services. However, the HSE have reported to me that no family forums have been established as of May in Co. Wexford. These families are experts by experience and their voices deserve to be heard.

“The campaigners who are raising awareness of these issues are amazing. However, as one parent put it to me, they are also sick and tired of telling their stories. There are only so many times that they can share their pain and turmoil.

“Now the government and the HSE must really listen, and urgently provide the resources and strategies needed to get these teams fully staffed, running efficiently and providing the services required.”

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