I thank my hon. Friend for raising this crucial matter. The Government recognise that speech, language and communication skills are important for child wellbeing, and as a father of six I know how important this issue is for children as they grow and develop. The Government will continue to prioritise the improving of early speech and language outcomes across education, health and social care, to narrow inequalities. The NHS long-term plan recognises the importance of speech and language therapists. It proposes that
“local areas will design and implement models of care that are age appropriate, closer to home and bring together physical and mental health services.”
Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Backbench Business Committee, Ian Mearns, has disappeared, but I hope he is watching the Parliament channel and therefore will have noted my hon. Friend’s request for a Backbench Business debate.