According to I CAN (a children?s speech charity) 1 in 10 children in the UK have communication difficulties that require specialist help. This translates to 3 children in a class of 30 that should be receiving help from their local NHS Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service. From personal experience with my son and from conversations with both fellow parents and educational professionals, the ?postcode lottery? is failing many of us as a high number of NHS trusts around the country are appearing to be incapable of offering a sufficient service to these children.
It is well documented that without early intervention a child's untreated speech difficulties can often lead to a loss of confidence, low self-esteem, behaviour issues born from frustration in trying to communicate with those around them and development of literacy problems when older, affecting their progress through school.
Because of the long waiting lists around the country for NHS Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Services, children are either being left to struggle on unaided by a NHS that promises to meet the needs of everyone, or families are being forced to pay for private therapy, which goes against one of the NHS? core principles that good healthcare should be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.
As the NHS constitution states that the NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves please take the time to look at my e-petition to the Government to improve the level of provision of NHS Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Services across England and sign it and share it with others if you agree.