Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Ceisteanna (1599)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

1599. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if all of the 270 families affected by the keeping of records by his Department in relation to possible litigation cases over services for children diagnosed with autism have been contacted by a liaison person and offered support; if not, the support he plans to offer those families who have not been contacted to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34476/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I take the allegations made in recent media reports including the RTÉ Investigates broadcast of 25 March extremely seriously.

The Report of the Department of Health team set up to establish the facts in respect of specific allegations by RTÉ Primetime Investigates Programme was published on 21st April. This report deals with each of the allegations made in the programme and related articles on the website. The Department of Health has never gathered sensitive medical and educational information on children involved in court cases in the manner portrayed. It also found there was no evidence that the Department of Health was secretly compiling dossiers on children with autism involved in Special Educational Needs litigation as alleged.

The Department of Health has appointed an Independent Support Liaison Officer to engage directly with the 29 families involved in open Special Educational Needs litigation related to these allegations. These families are being contacted through the solicitor on file offering the opportunity to engage directly with the Independent Support Liaison Officer.