Case stated answered in relation whether assessment of need can be considered complete if it did not incorporate diagnostic assessment of disability

By: Lawrence Morris BL

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Court of Appeal, in a consultative case stated, answers the question of whether an assessment of need can be considered as complete for the purposes of applicable legislation if it does not incorporate any diagnostic assessment of the child's disability, where it has been already determined by an assessment officer that an applicant has a disability, as follows: an assessment of need cannot be regarded as complete in the absence of a diagnostic assessment of the child's disability unless, in the reasonable opinion of the assessment officer, such a diagnostic assessment is not required for the purposes of identifying the nature and extent of the disability and/or the health and education needs of the person with disability and/or the period of time required for the provision of those services.

Consultative case stated - from Circuit Court - proceedings relate to minor child of the applicant - main issue whether HSE validly discharged its functions and duties towards the minor - pursuant to s.8 of Disability Act, 2005 - whether diagnosis of any underlying disability in the capacity of the minor - confirming nature and extent of existence of disability - third party appears as amicus curiae - court considers case stated - legislative overview - consideration of UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities - entered into force 2018 - consideration of UN convention of rights of child - of Constitution - whether assessment of need standard operating procedure 2020 - consideration assessment of child - court notes key consideration is whether assessment of needs is modified by operative provision of the 2020 SOP - where Assessment Officer determines that an an individual has a disability - is the assessment of needs to be considered for purposes of 2005 act - whether a diagnoses is required is required in all cases - court concludes that Standard Operating Procedure of January 2020 represents significant overreach on part of HSE - it interferes with the discharge of Assessment Officers - court provides a qualified answer to the case stated.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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