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05.50 10 Oct 2019


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Nearly 250 children have been waiting at least two years to see a speech and language therapist.

A further 438 children are on the list for more than 12 months.

Speech and language therapy provides treatment for people who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing.

According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, more than 11,300 children are waiting for an initial assessment.

Some 381 children in the HSE's CHO 7 area have been waiting for at least a year - this includes parts of Dublin, Kildare and west Wicklow.

While 150 of these children have been waiting for more than two years.

speech and language Source: HSE

Some 151 children Cork and Kerry have been waiting at least a year - including 95 for more than 24 months.

Suzanne Connolly from the charity Barnardos says the figures are a huge concern.

"The problem is that children can't wait, and if they don't get the service they need at the right time it'll really affect their development - and then their long-term future developmentally.

"So we think it's very important that when there's an identified need for an assessment that it happens as soon as possible, and then the children get the service that they need".

A further 889 children have been waiting at least a year for their first speech and language therapy appointment, after an initial assessment.

Some 200 of these have been waiting at least 18 months.

Reporting by Eoghan Murphy


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Barnardos Freedom Of Information Hse Speech And Language Speech And Language Therapist Suzanne Connolly Waiting List

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