End Speech and Therapy postcode lottery
Sinn Féin spokesperson on children's issues, Sue Ramsay MLA, has called for greater resources to be directed towards speech and therapy services and an end to the postcode lottery.
Ms Ramsay said:
"A recent report published by Nigel Williams shows clearly that access to speech and therapy services for children and young people is largely determined by where they live. Sinn Féin fully support the view that we need to see the creation of a Task Force to drive forward the development an action plan on speech and language therapy provision.
"I am aware through my contacts with those parents and primary carers whose children are in need of speech and language therapy that there is a wide disparity in service provision across the Six Counties.
"The right of children and young people to accessible speech and language therapy must be accepted and prioritised by relevant Government Departments. Indeed the call by Nigel Williams that the Ministers for Health and Education should make this right a reality by ensuring that policy, planning and service commissioning at a strategic level is strengthened to allow a child centred approach to be developed which meets children's speech, language and communication is one which Sinn Féin would fully endorse.
"These services are central to the personal and academic development of many children across the North, and central to the ability of these children to reach their full potential, and as such need to be given a more urgent priority." ENDS