Speech and language therapists

 

Sir, – There is an outcry for speech and language therapists and occupational therapists across the country.

Recent events have highlighted the ridiculous length of time children are spending on waiting lists. Children and parents are being left to struggle on their own, potentially having negative implications on the child’s wellbeing and overall development.

Ironically, there are countless clinicians looking for work across the country. However, the funding from the HSE is just not there.

On graduating, we are all excited and enthusiastic about the future. We are looking forward to starting our careers and supporting children and their families.

However, it isn’t long until the rose-tinted glasses fade. Currently, there are only a handful of of three- to six-month contracts being advertised nationwide. The speech and language therapist HSE panel system is at a standstill, with hundreds of clinicians waiting to be called for jobs that may never emerge. Consequently, we are being forced to move abroad to practise.

Our services are badly needed. We want to support children, parents and families. We want to stay in Ireland to work. We want things to change. We want this issue to be addressed by the Government and HSE before it is too late. – Yours, etc,

MARGUERITE RYAN,

Thurles,

Co Tipperary.