CORK has the highest waiting list for child psychology services in the country, with 1,936 children aged up to 18 in Cork on lists at the end of February this year.
Almost 800 of these had been waiting over a year for services. The Cork figures account for more than a quarter (27%) of the national waiting list total, which stood at around 7,200 as of February 28.
South Lee had the largest waiting list in Cork, with 791 children awaiting psychology services in the area.
The figures were obtained by Cork TD Seán Sherlock (Lab) who called for children awaiting psychology services to be sent to areas with shorter waiting times. Speaking to , Mr Sherlock said: “There’s a failure of oversight and a failure of accountability.
“Where you have spare capacity, there shouldn’t be a reason why files can’t be transferred to other parts of the country, where there is capacity, and imaginative solutions found to provide therapy.
“We need to be sitting down with the third level institutions and finding solutions to get more psychologists and psychiatrists into the system,” he added.
“We’re seeing massive system failures for families.” Cork Kerry Community Healthcare was contacted for comment.
In its response to Mr Sherlock, the HSE said that 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”.
The health service also pointed to the Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs), 91 of which were established last year to provide services and supports for all children with complex needs within a defined geographic area.
CDNTs are teams of health and social care professionals, including nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, social work and others.
“The team will work closely together in a family centred model, focusing on …….