Written Answers. - Speech Therapy Service.

John McGuinness

Question:

374 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children if a speech therapist is available to the School of the Holy Spirit, Kilkenny; if so, the number of hours per week devoted to children from this school; if the hours are adequate for all of the children concerned; the steps which can be or will be taken to improve this service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7988/01]

The responsibility for the delivery of speech and language therapy services in the Kilkenny area is a matter for the South Eastern Health Board in the first instance.

The board currently provides one session of speech and language therapy to the school in question per fortnight. This session is provided to the most junior class in the school as it has been prioritised by the speech and language therapy services as being in most need of these services. The board has approved funding for a post of senior speech and language therapist, to be filled in 2001. This will enable the board to increase the sessional input to the school to five sessions per week. When this appointment is made, the needs of the remaining children in the school will be reviewed by the speech and language therapists and recommendations will be made in relation to their individual requirements.

Question No. 375 answered with Question No. 372