Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, has today welcomed a Government decision to finance an Assessment of Need (AON) waiting list initiative, commencing in the coming days, through the procurement of private assessments for long waiting families.

The funding of €6.89 million will allow the HSE to procure up to 2,500 additional AONs, with delivery targeted over the next 6 months.

The funding is in addition to existing HSE core funding of €5m, allocated for procurement of private assessments, which is targeting the completion of 1,800 AONs in 2024.

The waiting list initiative will target those families waiting longest for AONs, with the HSE reimbursing clinicians directly through the procurement of capacity from approved private providers.

This programme will be progressed through the existing framework of providers procured by the HSE and the HSE will continue to expand the framework to include any new private provision.

This approach will provide a more equitable approach, rather than direct reimbursement to parents who engage with the private providers.

The HSE will manage the waiting list initiative in line with statutory obligations.

Minister Rabbitte secures Government funding of €6.89 million to accelerate an Assessment of Need (AON) waiting list initiative 1
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

Welcoming the funding, Minister Rabbitte said:

I’m delighted that Government can commit additional funding to this very important initiative.

Demand for assessments of need (AONs) is escalating, with a 25% year-on-year increase in the number of AON applications received in 2023.

To address the AON challenge, a reconsideration of the current model is required, and I have asked officials in my Department to look at all options.

Today’s announcement is the first initiative as we look to drive down waiting lists across the country, and is on foot of a proposal that I brought to the Cabinet Committee on Children and Education and Disability last week.

Minister Rabbitte secures Government funding of €6.89 million to accelerate an Assessment of Need (AON) waiting list initiative 3
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Print
  • linkedin
  • Buffer
  • Gmail

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman said:

The Government acknowledges that the requirement for assessments through the AON process is an extremely significant factor in waiting lists for children’s disability services.

Under the PDS Roadmap structures, a working group is currently examining waiting times for interventions and Assessments of Need.

Today’s announcement is very welcome, and this initiative will form part of an overall approach by my Department and the HSE to tackle waiting lists and to deliver real and tangible solutions that enhance services to better support the needs of children with additional needs in Ireland.

Also agreed as a measure to facilitate the procurement of private assessments, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth will immediately explore the feasibility of involving the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) in an effort to maximise system capacity and ensure access to assessments.

DCEDIY and other relevant stakeholders will commence the engagement process imminently on scoping out necessary steps that would be required to avail of the services offered by the NTPF.

Translate »