EHS-COVID (76) Q4. Which groups are especially vulnerable to health service disruptions? (1) Children with disabilities

20 November, 2020

Below are the citation and abstract of a new paper in BMJ Paeds Open, with thanks to CHIFA/ICHG.

CITATION: Adaptive innovations to provide services to children with developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Valsamma Eapen Harriet Hiscock Katrina Williams

First published: 06 November 2020


Children with developmental disabilities are experiencing significant challenges to service access due to suspension of in-person assessments during the current COVID‐19 pandemic. Telehealth is rapidly becoming the new service delivery model, which presents a unique opportunity for innovation in care that could be beneficial in the post-pandemic period. For example, using a combination of in-home video and telehealth options could form the first step in developmental assessment, allowing children to receive the necessary supports without delay. Recent telehealth funding is welcome but additional Medicare items for joint consultations including general practitioners (GPs), and paediatric, mental health and allied health professionals is critical.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,