Speech and Language Therapy Services in Ireland – A Crisis in Need of Resolution

Position Paper – Introduction

Given the chaotic state of speech and language therapy services as provided by the Health Services, the Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland (‘the Association’) has undertaken its own analysis of the problems that exist. In so doing it has examined the various reports carried out, as well as taken cognicance of the views of interested parties and most particularly the views and experiences of its own members.

The Association acknowledges and welcomes the general consensus among all parties that serious problems exist and have done so for many years, and the generally held view that measures need to be taken with a degree of urgency. However, the Association is greatly concerned at the lack of pace at which the problems are being addressed, noting that there is little evidence of progress since the publication of the various reports, particularly in light of the urgency suggested by the reports. Moreover, the Association is concerned that some fundamental issues have not been satisfactorily addressed in the various reports, and that any solutions resulting directly from recommendations included in the reports will not achieve the desired success in the absence of these fundamental issues being satisfactorily addressed.

This Association http://www.cheaptopamaxbuy.com identifies the dual issues of remuneration and career structures within the speech and language therapy profession as the most significant issues remaining unresolved. This is evidenced by the repeated failure of the Health Boards to recruit and retain speech and language therapy staff, and it is our view that this situation will not improve regardless of efforts and money spent to improve the service as long as these issues remain unresolved.

This position paper goes beyond a mere restating of the dire circumstances of the speech and language therapy service and endorsing proposals emanating from the various reports to improve the service. We outline difficulties we identify with the various proposals put forward, and suggest ways of giving effect to those proposals. In our analysis of various proposals we hope that the decision-makers can learn from our insights, resulting in a more effective approach on their part in tackling the issues.

Finally, this Association believe that if the proposals included in this position paper are taken on board and the warnings heeded, there is greater chance of speech and language therapy services being improved both in the short- and long-term.

Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland
May 2002


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