9 March 2022

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by longstanding issues of increased need and insufficient resource, many NHS children’s speech and language therapy services are facing significant challenges.

Many NHS children’s speech and language therapy services are trying to balance growing waiting lists with maintaining provision for children on their caseload. Many services are also reporting difficulties in recruitment.

We have heard from several areas where services are coming under pressure to reduce waiting times, and service managers, professional leads and clinicians are being asked to implement solutions that they may have concerns about.

Today we are publishing a statement to outline key considerations for service leads and managers who are being asked to make changes to their services, as well as examples of approaches that have been used in other areas. The statement also brings together relevant RCSLT guidance, and information on raising concerns.

Read the full statement (PDF).

Listening and sharing

We don’t have all the answers, but we want to listen to the challenges you’re facing, connect you with peers who might have tried different approaches, and work together to figure out the best way forward for the children, young people and families we serve.

We will be holding a listening event for managers and service leads of NHS (or NHS-commissioned) children’s speech and language therapy services across the UK. Register your interest in the event.

Children’s services

An overview of children’s speech and language therapy services

RCSLT and ASLTIP statement on best practice in supporting children and young people

Statement on collaborative working in children’s services

Tiny Happy People celebrates first birthday

Initiative to support parents and carers in developing the language and communication skills of 0-4-year-old children