Charities and professional bodies including the CSP have secured support from a government minister in their push to protect children’s therapists in England from redeployment.
Children’s minister Vicky Ford said it was her department’s ‘clear expectation’ that redeployments should not take place in a letter to the alliance of organisations.
The minister said: ‘NHS England’s medical directorate are the professional lead for therapists and the department continues to work closely with them and Public Health England as they plan for winter and through this period of new national restrictions to ensure that the needs of children with SEND are appropriately prioritised.
‘NHSE are liaising with the chief allied health professional team on this matter.
‘We welcome the fact that the chief nurse and the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health have already circulated advice on redeployment separately, as have mental health and learning disability services.
‘I strongly encourage that a similar, clear message is given on the redeployment and prioritisation of therapists for children and young people with SEND.’
Her comments came in response to a letter co-signed by chief executives from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, British Academy of Childhood Disability and Disabled Children’s Partnership, along with the CSP’s Karen Middleton.
The letter showcased the critical importance of children’s therapists and called for services to continue during the second wave of the pandemic.
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