Speech and Language Disorders: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow Conservative, Taunton Deane

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the implications are for his policies of the conclusion in the paper entitled, Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017, published by NHS Digital in November 2018 that children with a mental disorder were five times more likely to have speech or language problems.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

On 20 December 2018, we announced the first wave of 25 trailblazer sites that will test the plans set out in ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper’, published in December 2017. This set out the Government’s intention to improve provision of support through its three key proposals: creating new Mental Health Support Teams working in and near schools and colleges to support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health conditions; piloting a four-week waiting time for access to specialist National Health Service children’s mental health services; and training Designated Senior Leads in mental health in schools and colleges.

Mental Health Support Teams will build on support already in place and work in an integrated way with other professionals such as speech and language therapists, including in support of delivering schools responsibilities for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Our aim is to improve earlier identification of mental health needs, including through knowledge of the links between mental health and others such as speech, language and communication needs, to increase access to services and to provide more comprehensive support for the full range of needs of children and young people.

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