"Speech and Language Support"

About: Ayrshire & Arran Community Services

(as a parent/guardian),

My son has been known to speech and language since he was 3, I pushed with my health visitor and she got things moving. Just before we got to nursery he was assessed at triage, it was decided observations would be done at nursery (ECC) once he had started. The call was made to let him settle but if no change in his development to call back.

We did and we were put back at the start of the referral line. After being told we still had to wait at the back of the line... but assured when one of the girls go out to the ECC they could give the staff pointers to try there also, no one did. By chance after telling them to look out for SALT I got told of a parents workshop, took annual leave and attended. Which was good but they couldn't give me advice because well - they didn't know my sons difficulties. After evaluating the session my complaint of the process was picked up and we were brought in the following week to be re-assessed (2nd time) and it was deemed he did need intervention, so we attended the SALT Clinic and we started working.

Summer holidays before starting school, its our last session. We are told he would be seen in school, hopefully September but probably October. Now in Primary one and I've got a letter asking to call if I still feel my son needs support and if they don't hear from me he will be discharged. He clearly still needed support and we were expecting a letter informing us of visits not of another triage assessment to see if he needed support. Read his notes - he still needs support from SALT.

After going in and having my son made to name pictures off the card for a couple of minutes I'm told I should hear soon, they are still working their way through referrals, but then they will decide who needs support. MY SON NEEDS THE SUPPORT NOW, early intervention is not a term used for the sake of it - it is proven that if services get in early enough they can make a difference, leave it and it takes a lot longer to over come barriers to a child's development and learning - leave it too late and damage is done.

It feels like my son is just a number and is not at the heart of his plan, the service is.

I am not able to be told if he will get support at school, 'if' they recon he is in need I can not be told how he will be supported be it in school, or the clinic again, or when this support will be in place! this side of Christmas or not? how long until the referrals are assessed? how soon after that will the team meet and decide or have cases assigned to them? Of which may I add my son is not a new referral - HE IS ON THE CURRENT CASE LOAD and this will be the THIRD time we have started this process again.

It is effecting his confidence in his literacy and social development within the school, he is frustrated and annoyed, in primary one, they learn the letters and their sounds with phonics and then learn to blend words to read them, my son struggles with this due to speech and is clearly becoming distressed and sad, sad that he can't do it.

where is his support?

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear stressed parent, (I understand why you chose your name for PO!)

I am truly sorry that you have both had such distressing and frustrating journey. We all want the best for our children and it must be so difficult watching and waiting like this.

Please contact me on 01563 826222 or email me - Eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk and let's see what we can do about this.

Kind regards,

Eunice

(Please note - I will be out of the office tomorrow)

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear stressed parent,

Thank you for contacting me and for the long chat. As you know, the lead will contact you shortly to chat about the way forward.

The Service Manager did acknowledge that it is not normally expected that you would need to be re-referred and this was a mistake on our behalf. May I say I am sorry for the misinformation and any distress this caused. I am sure the chat with the Service Manager (known to you) will be helpful.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Update posted by stressed parent (a parent/guardian)

Thank you Eunice,

Thank you for looking further into my families story. It was good to talk to you and I left our conversation feeling listened to and with a sense of progress in getting support from my son.

I look forward to speaking with the lead from SALT, and hopefully we can have a plan in place for him sooner rather than later.

Thanks again for listening.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

You are most welcome. It is good to get the chance to help.

Take care,

Eunice

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