Browne says swift action is needed to appoint Speech & Language therapists in South Tipp

Photo © Tipp FM

The lack of adult Speech and Language Therapy in south Tipperary is simply not good enough according to a local TD.

Sinn Féin’s Martin Browne sought answers as to why adults with intellectual disabilities were not able to access such vital services.

The Cashel Deputy says a number of people had approached him after being told by the HSE that there was no space for SLT services.

“We raised the issue after several families had come to us – in particular the family of a 21 year old man diagnosed with Down Syndrome and moderate intellectual disabilities. He attends the Brothers of Charity.

The HSE have come back to say that there’s no space for SLT for adults with intellectual disabilities in South Tipperary. We find it very hard to believe that we’ve gotten to a stage now in modern Ireland that that’s the case. We find it very hard to understand how a vital service like this was allowed to lapse in the first place.”

Deputy Browne says this has created serious challenges for families caring for people with intellectual disabilities who have missed out on months of treatment.

Recruitment is currently underway and the service should be in place in the first quarter of 2023.

“They’re only recruiting two Speech and Language Therapists for the south-east. One for South Tipp, Carlow and Kilkenny and another for Waterford and Wexford.

“In all honesty that hardly seem adequate. There’s a massive backlog there and to recruit two doesn’t seem adequate to try and clear that backlog.

“So we’re going to continue with the HSE and the Minister to try and get the two as quick as possible and we start trying to eat into that backlog but we feel there needs to be more of a drive to hire more.”