Green MLA uncovers five month backlog for Occupational Therapy assessment

Responding to an enquiry from the family of an elderly constituent, North Down Green MLA Steven Agnew has uncovered at five-month backlog for those waiting for an Occupational Therapy assessment.

Mr Agnew said: “I have grave concerns that vulnerable people are suffering while they wait for such assessments which are necessary for them to receive the grants and benefits they so badly require to make their daily lives tolerable.

“This dreadful situation only came to light after the family of a 74-year-old lady from my constituency contacted me to ask for help.

“Their mother has limited mobility due to a variety of debilitating conditions including osteoporosis and needs a Disabled Facilities Grant to allow her to install a downstairs bathroom which she urgently needs.

“The lady in question is distressed and really struggling with her daily routine and needs these downstairs facilities immediately.

“However, to qualify for this grant she first needs an Occupational Therapy assessment and was dismayed to be told that there is a backlog going back to September 2011.

“Whilst I appreciate that there are demands on all sectors of the health service, I feel this situation is intolerable for those who are suffering and need swift intervention and help.

“I have written to the Occupational Therapy Department to ask for further clarification in this matter as this length of backlog is totally unacceptable.”

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