Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (430)

Robert Troy


430. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on the possible additional allocation of public occupational therapists in view of the recent criteria change when applying for housing adaptation grants through the local authority. [4880/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

In order to ensure that proposed adaptations and extensions under the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability scheme represent the most appropriate and cost-effective way of meeting the long-term nee ds of individual applicants, local authorities or the applicants themselves should obtain Occupational Therapist assessment of the proposed works. In cases where Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment is needed, the applicant may engage a private sector OT and costs of up to €200 may be recouped to the applicant. Alternatively, local authorities may obtain the services of an OT on a fee per case basis or the authority may enter into a service level agreement with the HSE to avail of OT services. Given the range and complexity of assistive technologies now available to support independent living by persons with physical, sensory and neurological disabilities, local authorities are increasingly seeking OT assistance in assessing the suitability of interventions a cross all the grant measures available to older people and people with a disability.

My Department will be issuing revised guidelines to local authorities shortly under all the grant measures, including in relation to OT assessment and measures to ensure that availability of OTs is not a barrier to progressing urgently needed works and adaptations. I have no function in relation to the deployment of additional OTs in the public service.