Speech and Language Therapy for children with autism / Asperger Syndrome / ASCs in Essex

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Dear Department of Health,

We have heard that the 5 PCTs in Essex have now amalgamated. What are the new PCTs in Essex, and what are their contact details please? Thank you.

In the light of recent changes in organisation or provision (?) in Essex please could you let us know the following:-

How many NHS speech and language therapists (SALTs) work in Essex now (figures by whatever PCT areas there are now)?

How many Speech Therapy Assistants work in Essex now (by whatever PCT areas there are now)?

How many Speech and Language Units attached to primary schools are there in Essex? What are their contact details?

How many speech and language units attached to senior schools are there? What are their contact details?

What other types of units exist in Essex that deliver speech and language therapy to those with autism (including Aspergers & high functiioning autism) (figures broken down into primary and senior age group please)?

What other settings exist where speech and language therapy can be delivered to children with autism (including Aspergers and HF autism) in Essex? E.g.: clinics?
Please supply contact details for all.

What are the entry criteria for language units attached to mainstream schools, and in what ways / how are the children helped? How long for?

What percentage of children are autistic in some form in language units?

What age do they usually get a referral, and what age do they leave?

What are the criteria for returning a chikld to mainstream school?

How are they subsequently followed / monitored by the NHS Speech and Language Therapy services when they return to mainstream school?

If they do not progress in mainstream school, (the "Language unit effect" i.e.: they do well in small quiet classes with speech therapy provision, and autism awareness, but nose-dive and develop mental health issues on return to mainstream - (and have to be referred to CAMHS), where there is little autism awareness or adjustment / provision) - can they return to the Language unit?

Can a parent request follow-up at any point in a child's education years?

What speech and language therapy services should be available from ALL UK PCTs for children with autism / Aspergers / ASCs ?

Is the Department of Health of the opinion that a speech and language therapist can help all children with autism, regardless of type or degree?
If so, how are they helped?

If a priority system exists, what are the criteria for access to speech and language therapy, (given that even adults with high-functioning autism or Aspergers suffer social isolation, assumptions and judgements from others in general, lack of access to jobs etc etc, and COMMONLY develop mental health problems because of lack of support & understanding, and can become suicidal, or unwittingly get into difficult situations?

Can a SALT be accessed by concerned parents of children with autism, if their child DOES NOT have a formal / official diagnosis?

What NHS Speech and Language therapy services are available in Essex for adults with autism of any type, diagnosed or undiagnosed, who have remaining difficulties with language AND communication, social skills, and theory of mind?

How do these figures compare to UK wide statistics?

What services SHOULD be in place for adults with autism now in the whole of the UK, many of whom will NEVER have had access to ANY such services, and their lives will be suffering for lack of communication and social skills?

Thank you very much,

Sorry for the long list of questions, but this is an important and neglected topic, and children with autism / Aspergers / ASCs are still suffering in mainstream school.

Yours faithfully,

Pat (Smith)

Dear Department of Health,

Sorry, I forgot to add - from our past experiences, parents are not always told their child actually has autism. WHY is this?

Why would a parent be told that their child "no longer has semantic pragmatic disorder", (this happened in the past, does it still happen now?) to justify a return to a mainstream school, when actually, autism does not go away?

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Sent request to Department of Health again.

Sent a follow up to Department of Health again.

Department of Health

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
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Where a reply is appropriate we aim to send one within 20 working days.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.

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References

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2. http://www.nhs.uk/
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4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
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Department of Health

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate we aim to send one within 20 working days.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...

Department of Health

1 Attachment

Our ref: DE00000630032 
 
Dear [P. Smith], 
  
Please see attached the Department of Health's response to your Freedom of
Information request. 

Yours sincerely,
 
Jamie Scott

Freedom of Information Officer
Department of Health
 

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Dear Department of Health,

Re: Green Paper.

Re: Is it true that under the new green paper, the way statements are written re Speech and Language Therapy will change, the new version only specifying that a child is entitled to speech and language therapy and that it should be provided for by the education provider. It will no longer specify that the therapy should be undertaken by a speech and language therapist. Instead primary school staff will be responsible for attending a short course and will then be expected to provide SALT to the children within the school, in order to fulfill that provision within the statement.

This is deeply worrying.

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Department of Health

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health.
This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.
Where a reply is appropriate we aim to send one within 20 working days.
If you have contacted the Department of Health about a current health or
social care campaign, please visit the [1]Department's website where a
response may have been published.

If your enquiry is about a medical matter, please contact NHS Direct on
0845 4647 or visit [2]NHS Choices, or contact your GP surgery.

For general health information you may also find it helpful to refer to
[3]Directgov, the UK Government’s Official information website, or the
Department of Health website’s [4]Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please note that the Department of Health does not process complaints
about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the '[5]Making a complaint' page on the Department's website.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. Department's website
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
2. http://www.nhs.uk/
3. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
4. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/FAQ/index.htm
5. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/ContactUs/Compla...

Department of Health

Our ref: DE00000636162 
 
Dear Mr/Ms Smith,
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 2 August to the Department of Health
about Speech and Language Therapy.  I have been asked to reply.
 
I regret this is not within the Department of Health’s remit.  After
considering your email, I would recommend that you forward your
correspondence to colleagues in the Department for Education, which
produced the Green Paper in question and where the staff are better able
to answer your query.  The contact details are:
 
Department for Education
Castle View House
East Lane
Runcorn
Cheshire
WA7 2GJ
 
Tel: 0870 000 2288
Website:  [1]www.education.gov.uk
 
I am sorry I could not be of more assistance on this occasion.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Richard Bell
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
 

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