28th October 2022
“This has made our family life a lot more fluid,” – Parent Fionnuala O’Connell on the new HSE Children’s Disability Network Team in Sligo/South Donegal. “Not having to bring her to multiple different appointments to multiple different areas. She has benefitted hugely from the team as they work collectively together, sharing information and procedures with my daughter’s best interests at heart. This has ensured that she has gotten the best service possible from the team. Having the service in Sligo, within the one building has enabled us to attend appointments across services within the one building on the same day.”
Head of Disability Services for Community Healthcare Cavan Donegal Leitrim Monaghan Sligo, Edel Quinn, explains that “the establishment of Children’s Disability Network Teams has been a very positive step forward in providing for the needs of children in our communities with complex needs and those of their families. The Sligo South Donegal Children’s Network Disability Team (CDNT) is one of seven such teams in Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo.
An interdisciplinary team comprising of Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians, Social Workers, Community Facilitators, management and administration staff, the CDNT works collaboratively to meet the complex needs of children with disabilities, providing support and therapeutic inputs to children as well as offering parent training and group sessions.
The team works together in a purpose-built facility, located in Nazareth House, Sligo that was recently renovated. The building consists of bright modern clinical rooms, an observation room, a multisensory room, a paediatric room, and large group rooms for group sessions and parent training. They work closely with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), GPs and Primary Care Services who are co-located within the building and further with education services, Tusla Child & Family Agency, acute hospital, and specialist health services.
According to Mary Durcan, Children’s Disability Network Team Manager, Sligo/South Donegal, “this interdisciplinary approach has been very positive for our team, encouraging excellent teamwork and effective communication. The team works very closely with parents to meet the goals and needs of the children who access the service.”
The team also works with Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership which organises activities and outings along with summer camp activities. In addition they also provide afterschool clubs in the Avalon Centre, Sligo Town, five afternoons per week for children with high priority complex needs attending a special school. They further link with Family Carers Ireland to jointly provide a Saturday club every second Saturday to children with high support needs and physical disability.
Watch the team in the newly renovated purpose-built facility in Nazareth