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Speech therapy services wait

PUBLISHED: 10:08 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:55 03 July 2010

CHILDREN in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are waiting up to six months for speech therapy treatment, despite the service improving elsewhere in Norfolk.

There are 400 children in mainstream schools on the waiting list for speech therapy in Yarmouth and Waveney.

CHILDREN in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are waiting up to six months for speech therapy treatment, despite the service improving elsewhere in Norfolk.

There are 400 children in mainstream schools on the waiting list for speech therapy in Yarmouth and Waveney. The average waiting time is 12 weeks, but the longest wait is 25 weeks. The figures emerged at Norfolk's health scrutiny committee last Thursday , and were given by Geraldine Rose, professional head of speech and language therapy for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney. In the rest of Norfolk the waiting list is around 200, and has been reduced by 300 since a 27pc increase in funding was put in by NHS Norfolk last year, up £360,000 to £1.7m. Yarmouth councillor Shirley Weymouth said: “That is a long time to wait - almost half a year - for a service that they really need.”

Mrs Rose said that there had been recruitment problems, but that they were hoping to make similar improvements to those made in Norfolk once extra investment was received.

Alan Hunter, team leader for the service in Norfolk, said: “The team has been able to train around 200 people working in schools across the area, to help educate them on communication disorders and how to better help and support children within schools.”

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