Search

Parents forced to pay up to £5,500 for private speech and language therapy due to health service pressure

PUBLISHED: 10:54 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 11 July 2018

Girl with a speech therapist. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Girl with a speech therapist. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This content is subject to copyright.

There is not enough provision in Norfolk to deal with the number of children who need speech and language therapy (SLT).

Penny Carpenter.. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.Penny Carpenter.. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.

That was the conclusion reached by an independent panel of experts tasked with looking into SLT in the county, after reports of long waiting times and not enough sessions being on offer.

Their report, which will be presented to Norfolk County Council’s Heath Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, found the current set up was “ambitious” and there were problems with funding and resources.

They found the “current staffing model is over-reliant on support staff” and “as a whole system, there is not sufficient resource to provide the desired level of provision to children and young people with speech, language and communication needs in Norfolk”.

The view was echoed by Family Voices Norfolk, a charity which represents more than 770 families with children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

A report prepared by the charity said lots of parents were being forced to pay for private SLT. It said: “The whole system concerning SLT is completely flawed.”

And although praise was given to individual therapists, who were deemed “compassionate and understanding”, parents were “paying privately for SLT services in Norfolk as they are unable to access the services that their child requires and do not have confidence that such a service will become available.”

Maxine Webb, from Norfolk charity SENsational Families, said the families they support had received similar reports, and they had run their own survey into SLT services.

She said: “In our survey people were saying they were paying a minimum of £200 and the maximum was £5,500.”

She added: “What we want is something that has the child’s needs at the heart of it.”

Penny Carpenter, chair of the children’s services committee at Norfolk County Council, said “We know how important this service is to children and families and recognise the importance of getting it right so that is why we commissioned this review, with health partners. We’re grateful for the responses we’ve received and will now look at them in further detail so that we can ensure that children can get the very best service.”

Other news

19:51

Groups campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit took to the streets of Norfolk over the weekend joining thousands of others around the country in a day of action.

Drivers are being forced to pay a “stealth tax”, it has been claimed, after it was revealed car owners in Norwich paid £74 on average last year to park their cars.

09:34

Architects and inventors of the future are benefitting from creative projects focussed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Yesterday, 15:13

The number of fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) issued to cyclists in Norfolk has fallen dramatically over the past two years, new figures have revealed.

Most Read

19:51

Groups campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit took to the streets of Norfolk over the weekend joining thousands of others around the country in a day of action.

Read more
Europe

Drivers are being forced to pay a “stealth tax”, it has been claimed, after it was revealed car owners in Norwich paid £74 on average last year to park their cars.

Read more
Broadland District Council
09:34

Architects and inventors of the future are benefitting from creative projects focussed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Read more
Norfolk Community Foundation
Yesterday, 15:13

The number of fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) issued to cyclists in Norfolk has fallen dramatically over the past two years, new figures have revealed.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 14:38

The East Anglian Air Ambulance will benefit from a law firm’s fundraiser that brought in £216.

Read more
Hilary Bushell

Most Commented

19:51

Groups campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit took to the streets of Norfolk over the weekend joining thousands of others around the country in a day of action.

Read more
Europe

Drivers are being forced to pay a “stealth tax”, it has been claimed, after it was revealed car owners in Norwich paid £74 on average last year to park their cars.

Read more
Broadland District Council
09:34

Architects and inventors of the future are benefitting from creative projects focussed on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Read more
Norfolk Community Foundation
Yesterday, 15:13

The number of fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) issued to cyclists in Norfolk has fallen dramatically over the past two years, new figures have revealed.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 14:38

The East Anglian Air Ambulance will benefit from a law firm’s fundraiser that brought in £216.

Read more
Hilary Bushell

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 0°C

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Dereham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Dereham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy