(UK) Yarmouth to spend $660K (US) to reduce speech therapy waiting lists

Feb 28, 2019, Yarmouth Mercury: Parents of children needing speech therapy resort to expensive private care over ‘disappointing’ service Parents have slammed health and council officials for long delays in getting speech therapy assessments for their children, with many resorting to private care instead. Mothers and fathers of children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) have found multiple problems with the speech and language service in Norfolk that are delivered by the East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) and the county council’s SEND service. But officials have said they accepted the unmet needs and that more money is being invested in the service. Members of Norfolk charity SENsational Families, which offers support to children with SEND, have criticised ECCH for discharging children with an autism spectrum diagnosis (ASD) immediately after assessment with no therapy, intervention or advice. Parents claimed they were waiting so long for assessments that they have had to fork out hundreds of pounds to pay for a private therapist…. Head of Norfolk’s education high needs service Michael Bateman said £500,000 [$660,000 US dollars] was being invested in the service which could help to reduce long waiting times…. A private paediatric speech and language therapist, who did not want to be named, said: “I have phone calls practically every day from parents begging me for therapy but I have to tell them I’m sorry, I’m full. 
“It’s ridiculous what families are having to give up to pay for private therapy.”