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HSE sued in attempt to get home supports for intellectually disabled child

A High Court challenge has been brought against the HSE aimed at securing home support for a nine-year-old girl with severe intellectual disability and various medical conditions.

A home support package was sought in May of last year but it seems a decision is yet to be made, the court was told.

The child is non-verbal, has serious and at times violent behavioural issues, is not toilet trained and requires full-time care, the court heard. She cannot be identified for legal reasons.

At the High Court on Monday, her counsel Fecihin McDonagh SC said that, in the area where the child and her family reside, home support packages are generally provided by a not-for-profit foundation on behalf of the HSE.

That organisation has been very helpful but lacks the authority and resources to approve packages for children and families such as the applicant, he said.

It appears the May 2018 application is being processed but no determination has been made to date and this case was “crying out for resolution”.

The delays had caused the family considerable stress, anxiety and hardship particularly as the child’s condition has deteriorated since the application was first submitted, he said.

Applications for home support packages should be determined in a timely fashion, counsel added.

The child, who is suing through her mother, wants an order directing the HSE to consider and determine her application for home support. She is also seeking damages.

Permission to bring the action was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Charles Meenan who returned the matter to later this month.