18 November 2021

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) pays tribute to Lord Ramsbotham following his resignation as the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Speech and Language Difficulties.

As the Secretariat of the Group, we thank Lord Ramsbotham for his outstanding leadership of the APPG over many years. It has been an honour to work with him. We salute all he has achieved as the Group’s Vice-Chair, its Chair and most recently its Co-Chair.

Lord Ramsbotham has always spoken up for people with speech and language difficulties. This has included children and young people who are vulnerable. It has included children and young people from areas of social disadvantage. It has also included those in touch with youth offending services.

Interviewed on BBC Points West in 2017 about young offenders, he commented: “lack of communication was the cornerstone of all their problems and the cornerstone therefore of improving their prospects.”

He has improved legislation so people with communication needs are better supported. This has helped them to achieve their potential and live better lives. He influenced the Children and Families Act 2014. He influenced the Children and Social Work Act 2017. Most recently, he has influenced the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Lord Ramsbotham has also championed the speech and language therapy profession. For this, we have been – and are – very grateful to him. He has never failed to highlight how speech and language therapy can transform lives.

During an Oral Question in the House of Lords in October 2006, he commented: “I have never found anything so capable of doing so much for so many people at so little cost as the work that speech and language therapists carry out”.

We will miss working with him on the APPG. We look forward to his continued connection with us as the RCSLT’s Honorary Life Vice President.

We have set up an online thank you card, which anyone who has worked with Lord Ramsbotham over the years is welcome to sign.