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Families in the West impacted by HSE Audiology Failure need Urgent Action – Conway-Walsh

12 July, 2018 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

The forty nine children and their families affected by the HSE Audiology scandal in the West need urgent action, according to Mayo Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.

Speaking after meeting with one impacted family, the HSE, and the Department of Health, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“We are now over four weeks on from the published report which clearly demonstrated that there was a lack of clinical governance ending up in children being wrongly assessed as not having hearing problems and therefore not receiving timely and appropriate treatment. The lack of action over the last four weeks from the HSE and the Department of Health is not acceptable. 

“If the apology given to these families in the report is to mean anything, Minister Simon Harris must now intervene to ensure families are provided with all the services, supports and practical help they need.  Each child must be given an appropriate care plan to meet their needs. In the report, it was acknowledged that 'these children have been harmed due to HSE Audiology services not following appropriate clinical recommendations'. 

“The Department of Social Protection must work with the HSE to ensure these children are prioritised for supports.  At a minimum, the exceptional circumstances these families find themselves in must warrant medical cards, domiciliary care allowance and travel passes.  

“Speech and language therapy and other therapies and supports must for part of a special package of care provided for these children.  This cannot be done without additional therapists and clinicians being allocated to Mayo and Roscommon.  

“Finally, a redress scheme has to be put in place to help compensate for the harm that has been done to these children and their families.  I understand the State Claims Agency have been formally notified.  This will now be a test as to whether the culture of dragging people who have been wronged by the state through the courts has changed.” 

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