Urgent need for Speech and Language Therapy in Roscommon – Murphy

Senator Eugene Murphy has highlighted the “urgent need” to fill vacant Speech and Language Therapist positions in Roscommon.

Addressing the Minister for Disabilities in the Seanad, the senator said “There are a large number of children with special needs, including autistic children, in the county awaiting this service, and we all have to agree this is unacceptable in this day and age.

“It is soul-destroying for parents to watch their children struggling to communicate and becoming increasingly frustrated and anxious as they cannot express themselves.

“There is currently a severe lack of Speech and Language Therapists available in Roscommon and as far as I am aware there is no indication that more will be available for the foreseeable future”.

Responding to Senator Murphy, Minister Anne Rabbitte acknowledged the difficulty facing children and young people with disabilities, and the frustration borne by their families.

“Currently, there are ongoing challenges in the recruitment and retention of staff across the whole healthcare sector, particularly the therapy professionals required in children’s disability services. This national issue is mirrored by a global shortage of healthcare professionals”.

The Minister went on to state that the HSE’s ‘Be part of our team, be part of their lives’ campaign, launched in December and January, is the first nationwide CDNT campaign focusing on the recruitment of dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers and speech and language therapists.

“The campaign has been very successful, with 500 offers received. The HSE is going through those offers and the plan is to get back to people by mid-February, with the first round of interviews to be held by March 1st. That is a really positive step”.

This response from the Minister has been welcomed by Senator Murphy and he has requested to be kept updated regarding the current applications and recruitment process.