March 6, 2020
Mullan presses Minister on autism waiting lists

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has pressed the Health Minister on waiting times for autism diagnosis in the Western Trust area. 

The Foyle MLA said:

“My office is inundated with constituents who are currently awaiting an autism diagnosis. Some people are waiting up to 18 months which is unacceptable. 

“I asked the Health Minister what action he is taking to reduce the waiting lists in the Western Trust area given his response has confirmed that the demand for autism diagnosis exceeds current staffing levels. 

“The Minister must ensure that additional resources are put in place to deal with the backlog and to relieve families of the stress they are facing. 

“Excessive waiting times are having an impact on children at home and school with some children are going through a number of school year groups before a diagnosis is confirmed.

“Children who have been diagnosed with autism and have not been allocated a social worker should be given a rationale for the decision to allow families the opportunity to appeal.”

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