We cannot allow a situation to develop in which developmental assessments for babies are based on a postcode lottery
The HSE must explain why developmental assessments for babies and children, from three months to 48 months, have been withdrawn in Dublin West, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.
“It has come to my attention that the HSE is advising new mothers in the Dublin West area that child health services are moving to a “prioritisation system” due to staff shortages among its public health nurses.
“This means that developmental assessments for babies aged three months, 9 to 11 months, 21-24 months and 46-48 months have effectively been discontinued. Instead, new mothers are being provided with information leaflets.
“This is completely unacceptable. These developmental assessments are crucial to ensuring the health and safety of children. They also provide an important reassurance to new mothers, many of whom may feel anxious and over-whelmed when they have a new baby.
“The HSE must explain why it is apparently withdrawing these services indefinitely and when they will be reinstated. Staff shortages, which are supposed to be temporary, cannot be used as a pretext for removing vital assessments for the next four years for children in one particular area.
“We cannot allow a situation to develop in which developmental assessments for babies are based on a postcode lottery and that babies and parents in an area of high deprivation are denied care.”
11 July, 2022