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speech therapy in school prevented by location of doctor's surgery?

(7 Posts)
picturerail Fri 14-Jan-11 13:57:08

Posted this in special needs: education also so hopefully someone can help -

DS1 started Reception in September and I had a meeting today with the school SENCO to discuss his progress. Prior to starting school he had speech therapy sessions that he was referred to by our doctor & a paediatrician from the local health authority. The paediatrician, school and I are in agreement that he needs more speech therapy & also that he will benefit from being assessed by an educational psychologist as he may have other behavioural issues.

We live in the London area on the borders of two boroughs. The school is in one borough (where we live) and our doctor's surgery is based in the neighbouring borough (it is the same distance away as the school in the opposite direction) The SENCO has told me today that because our doctor is based in a different borough the speech therapist & educational psychologist attached to the school will not assess DS1.

The NHS trust for both boroughs is the same but apparently the Borough's Health Authority (not sure if this is the correct term?!) act independently. I asked whether this was a funding issue but she seemed to think that it wasn't & it is just the case that the two departments will not communicate when it comes to speech therapy/education psychology and that there is no way round the situation other than for us to change doctors.

Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any thoughts about it? I know the simple answer is for us to change doctors but I am loathe to do this as he is the doctor for the whole family and in the area we live in reliable/helpful doctors are difficult to find.

3littlefrogs Fri 14-Jan-11 13:59:03

I would talk to your MP.

scurryfunge Fri 14-Jan-11 14:02:51

I would think the press may also be interested in the fact that a speech therapy department will not communicate.

PheasantPlucker Fri 14-Jan-11 14:07:50

We had a similar situation, with the GP based in the next borough (even though it was geographically placed very definitely in our borough..... very odd) but SALT was provided via the LEA at the school. The only issue was the long wait, due to understaffing of SALTs.
Your situation does sound very strange, and you certainly need to take it further. Especially in an age when authorities are promoting transparency and communication in all aspects of these areas.

PheasantPlucker Fri 14-Jan-11 14:08:57

Sorry, to be clear there, I mean that the LEA sorted out the SALT as the (state) school was in the borough we lived in. Therefore GP's location didn't figure

picturerail Fri 14-Jan-11 14:44:27

Thanks for your replies. The MP/press routes are ones that I've considered so I'm glad others don't think that it's OTT! It's only early days yet though and there's been no actual refusal from the school's Borough yet (this is from the SENCO's previous experience at the school) so I'm going to wait until after she contacts them formally before I go down that route.

PheasantPlucker- after the last lot of speech therapy I was told that after a child reaches school age the referrals for speech therapy are dealt with by the school and not the doctors the same as they are in your borough. Do you live in London? If so, do you mind me asking where? It might assist if i need to take this further

PheasantPlucker Fri 14-Jan-11 14:50:20

Hi, I'm in the borough between Kingston and Wandsworth!

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