Speech therapy service nears 'crisis', says nurse union

Nursing union Unite/CPHVA says the speech and language therapy service is 'heading towards crisis'.

A survey of its representatives found that waiting and referral times for patients were lengthening and the workforce was becoming more stressed as a result.

Fiona Farmer, Unite/CPHVA's lead officer for speech and language therapy members, said: ‘The survey of our reps paints a service heading towards crisis, with our members having to introduce priority lists and preside over a decline in specialist services.

‘We want speech and language therapy services to be retained in the NHS - not privatised. Money should be spent on clinical services, not administration, so-called ‘restructuring' and the time-consuming internal commissioning process.'

The survey results come just days after the DoH announced it backed a plan for England in which patients would be able to bypass GPs and self-refer to physiotherapists and other health staff, including speech therapists.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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