A chara, – Speech and language therapy services are vital for people with communication and swallowing disorders. In May 2019, you reported that there were 38,424 people waiting for speech and language therapy. This number has increased over the last year.
People with swallowing and communication disorders cannot be put on hold. There is a large body of evidence which indicates that persistent communication disorders in childhood can have serious impact on children’s social, emotional, behavioural and educational development. Untreated swallowing disorders can lead to further serious medical complications.
Why then, when services are already in crisis, would HSE management redeploy therapists from essential services to Covid testing ("Therapists redeployed as Covid testers", News, September 4th). It is well recognised that there is a need for staff to carry out these testing procedures but surely it would make more sense to use non-frontline staff or one of the more than 60,000 people who volunteered for "Ireland's Call". This is a plea not to redeploy speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, who are already in high demand, given the staggering waiting lists for therapy in this country. – Yours, etc,
Dr TRIONA SWEENEY,
Consultant Speech and