Children and Young People’s Therapies
Haleacre Unit Amersham Hospital Whielden Street
Amersham Bucks HP7 0JD
Dear Parent / Carer
Important changes to Speech and Language Therapy
Demand for Speech and Language Therapy has significantly increased over the last two years. Despite service redesign, we have had to take difficult decisions about how we make the most of available Speech and Language Therapy resources.
Our priority is to ensure that the quality of the service remains at the highest possible level. It is also to ensure that the children and young people with the most need can continue to be seen by the service. This means that for the remainder of the summer term some children and young people will not be seen by the service.
This is not a decision that has been made lightly. The Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Therapy Service will continue to work jointly with Commissioners from Buckinghamshire County Council and Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, the Councils Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) service and schools to find a sustainable plan for the future.
What this means for families
For the remainder of the summer term:
• Children and young people with speech and language needs identified on their Education, Health and Care Plan will continue to be seen. Delivery of their hours will be the priority for therapists.
• The Speech and Language Therapy service will only accept new referrals from the Council’s SEND team for children and young people of school age who require speech and language assessment as part of an EHC needs assessment.
• Children and young people who were referred prior to 1 April 2019 and are already on our waiting list will be seen in date order for assessment.
What we will not be providing
The changes mean that for the remainder of the summer term:
• The link therapist model (which links a therapist to each school) and the School Advice Clinics for Speech and Language Therapy will not operate.
• Children and young people who were due to be seen as part of the school advice clinics in the summer term will not be seen.
• No training will be provided to schools.
These changes mean that at present your child will not be seen by a speech and language therapist. However, we have a range of information, activities and resources for parents and schools covering all areas of speech, language and social communication development available on our Communication Carousel found at www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/cyp.
We recognise that these changes will mean a reduced service for some children over the next few weeks. We want to ensure that all children and families receive the therapy service they need and every effort is being made to ensure that from the autumn term we will again be able to support Schools including children and young people without Education, Health and Care Plans.
To support this, the Speech and Language Therapy service and the Specialist Teaching Service are working together to introduce an online resource called SpeechLink in primary schools for children aged 4-8 years. Developed by Speech and Language Therapists, the SpeechLink support packages provide a screening tool and intervention resources for use in the classroom and indicate the need for further support when required. Downloadable resources are also available for parents/carers.
For more information, please visit https://speechandlanguage.info/speech and https://speechandlanguage.info/infant
What to do if you have any questions?
Please speak initially with your School’s SENCO.