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Causeway Trust waiting lists unacceptable

5 August, 2004

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has expressed concern at the staff shortages and the length of waiting lists in the Causeway Trust, particularly in reference to the Occupational Therapy Sector.

Cllr McGuigan said:

"Between March and June of this year the total number of people waiting to be seen by an occupational therapist has broken the 1,000 mark. Some people have been waiting for nearly two years to be assessed for adaptations to be made to their homes. Over 300 of these are deemed a priority. In a lot of these cases people are struggling to maintain a basic standard of living and cannot cope without home aid and assistance, normally provided by this service.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation. Most people would be horrified to learn that some children have been waiting nearly four years to be seen by a paediatric occupational therapist. Extra resources and funding needs to be freed up, and more occupational therapists are required. Otherwise this problem will only get worse.

"While the present compliment of Occupational Therapists should be commended for their work, there are clearly a number of staff shortages in this sector. Employees have been burdened with a heavy workload, which is being added to on a daily basis. I have already written to the Health Minister about this and have asked her to address this issue as a matter of urgency."


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