§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the waiting time for an assessment by an occupational therapist in respect of disabled housing adaptations is; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Angela Smith
Information is not available on the current waiting time for an assessment by an occupational therapist in respect of disabled housing adaptations, as an assessment for housing adaptation can only be designated as such when the assessment is completed. In addition, waiting time varies according to 817W the complexity of the case and the availability of resources to carry out the assessment. The amount of time waited for assessment to commence is, however, recorded in respect of all persons assessed by community occupational therapists, according to time band. Figures for priority and non-priority cases are shown in the table and refer to assessments which commenced in the quarter ending 31 March 2003, the latest date for which such information is available.
Number of assessments commenced, by time waited for assessment, quarter ending 31 March 2003 Time waited Number (a) Priority cases Under 2 weeks 3,758 2 weeks—under 1 month 774 1 month and over 982 Total assessments commenced 5,514 (b) Non-priority cases Under 3 months 2,850 3—under 6 months 505 6 months and over 1,431 Total assessments commenced 4,786
Implementation of the recommendations of the joint Housing Executive/Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety review of the housing adaptations service, carried out in 2000–01, together with the additional 20 occupational therapy posts funded by the Department in 2001–02, is improving the efficiency of the service. Health and Social Services Trusts continue to strive to further improve the service.