2 year waiting time for young children to access Speech and Language Therapy in Dublin Mid-West. John Curran T.D. has said that figures released to him show additional therapy staff are urgently required to meet demands for Speech and Language Therapy services in Dublin Mid-West. Deputy Curran commented after receiving a direct reply from the HSE on the matter; “In Dublin Mid-West there are 700 children already in the service. 843 people waiting for a first time speech and language assessment while there are 531 people waiting on first time initial therapy services and a further 1,235 people waiting for follow up therapy.

What is even most worrying is that the HSE have stated in their reply to me that currently the team in CHO area 6 which covers Dublin Mid-West constituency has already reached capacity and that a review of a child’s referral could take approximately 24 months. “These numbers show that it is imperative that the HSE’s CHO 6 Dublin West receive more staff to meet the service demands in the area. It is not acceptable that children are being deprived of these essential supports. “We have become accustomed to long waiting lists in our Health Services, but we must not accept this as the norm. Early intervention in speech and language therapy is key. These long wait times for a first assessment are negatively impacting on children’s development and ability to prosper through their childhood. “We need the government to adopt a more strategic plan to address the challenges facing our health service, with a real focus on recruitment and retention.  The current plan is simply not working,” concluded Deputy Curran.