The HSE has confirmed that 3,235 babies in Kildare and West Wicklow and a further 1,343 in Laois are still waiting on their 9-11 month developmental check according to a local senator.
The check assesses a child’s physical development, their motor skills and fine movements, eyesight, hearing, and speech development, as well as social and emotional behaviour and should be carried out between nine and 11 months by a public health nurse.
More than half of all babies did not receive a crucial development health check due before they turned one due to the pandemic.
Public health nurse visits and important screening checks have been curtailed and delayed as a result of restrictions — and the HSE cannot say when full services will resume.
Senator Fiona O’Loughlin is now calling on the HSE to urgently roll out a catchup programme.
“This is a very stressful time for parents especially first-time parents who need these tests as they pick up developmental issues that may require intervention,” Senator O’Loughlin said.
“These delays this will put more pressure on an already stretched health system, as existing staff will have to face an increased workload to clear the backlog. I am calling on the HSE to urgently roll out a catchup programme for Kildare and West Wicklow and Laois.”