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The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has been working hard to raise these issues with MSPs and the Scottish Government. 

On general issue of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) services:
In September 2010, meetings were held with Nanette Milne MSP, Richard Simpson MSP, Ken Macintosh MSP, Cathie Craigie MSP, and Shona Robison MSP to brief them about the positive role of speech and language therapy, and the growing pressures on speech and language therapy services. All asked for further information, which they have been sent or will be sent soon.

The Giving Voice campaign was launched in Scotland at the Scottish Parliament on 1 December 2010. All MSPs were invited to the launch.  Nanette Milne MSP and Dr Richard Simpson MSP attended the launch to support the campaign.

On Children and Young people’s Needs:
RCSLT made a written submission to government on the “Early Years Framework” and was actively involved in the Scottish Government’s AHP “Working in Partnership” Project which aimed to improve partnership working between health boards and education authorities in relation to needs of children with additional support needs.

The RCSLT has met with Minister for Early Years Adam Ingram MSP in early 2010 after which a Scottish Government working group was set up to consider a communication action plan for Scotland’s children and young people. The Scottish Government has now indicated such a plan is superseded by the “Literacy Action Plan”. This is not a view shared by RCSLT and other supporting organisations representing children and young people with communication difficulties and their parents. RCSLT and partners, I CAN and AFASIC Scotland continue to negotiate.

On provision for long term conditions:
RCSLT has most recently contributed to “Scotland’s Stroke Strategy” (Refresh), “Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland”, “Delivering for Mental Health” (Refresh) and “Realising the Potential: AHP Mental Health Action Plan” including direct contact and meetings with lead government officials. The Stroke Strategy mentions SLT but does not require boards to ensure quality services. The AHP Mental Health Action Plan does not require health boards to ensure SLT is provided as part of services even although it is identified as a core service by the action plan and, according to a recent survey there are fewer than 10 whole time equivalent SLTs in mental health services for the whole of Scotland.

On needs in the justice system:
The RCSLT met the Minister for Community Safety in February and November 2010. A debate was held in the Parliament on 28th October 2010 (tabled by Willie Coffey MSP). The Minister spoke at a RCSLT conference on the issue. At both the debate and conference the Minister encouraged the RCSLT to continue to pursue this issue with stakeholders, to drive change. RCSLT is to report on the conference in Spring 2011 including proposals for a pilot SLT service in Scotland’s justice system, informed by the views of key stakeholders such as Community Justice Authorities, the Scottish Prison Service and NHS Boards. No formal commitment to act has been made by the Scottish Government.

In September 2010, meetings were held with Nanette Milne MSP, Richard Simpson MSP, Ken Macintosh MSP, Cathie Craigie MSP, and Shona Robison MSP to brief them about the positive role of speech and language therapy, and the growing pressures on speech and language therapy services. All asked for further information, which they have been sent or will be sent soon.

The Giving Voice campaign was launched in Scotland at the Scottish Parliament on 1 December 2010. All MSPs were invited to the launch.  Nanette Milne MSP and Dr Richard Simpson MSP attended the launch to support the campaign.

On Children and Young people’s Needs:
RCSLT made a written submission to government on the “Early Years Framework” and was actively involved in the Scottish Government’s AHP “Working in Partnership” Project which aimed to improve partnership working between health boards and education authorities in relation to needs of children with additional support needs.

The RCSLT has met with Minister for Early Years Adam Ingram MSP in early 2010 after which a Scottish Government working group was set up to consider a communication action plan for Scotland’s children and young people. The Scottish Government has now indicated such a plan is superseded by the “Literacy Action Plan”. This is not a view shared by RCSLT and other supporting organisations representing children and young people with communication difficulties and their parents. RCSLT and partners, I CAN and AFASIC Scotland continue to negotiate.

On provision for long term conditions:
RCSLT has most recently contributed to “Scotland’s Stroke Strategy” (Refresh), “Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland”, “Delivering for Mental Health” (Refresh) and “Realising the Potential: AHP Mental Health Action Plan” including direct contact and meetings with lead government officials. The Stroke Strategy mentions SLT but does not require boards to ensure quality services. The AHP Mental Health Action Plan does not require health boards to ensure SLT is provided as part of services even although it is identified as a core service by the action plan and, according to a recent survey there are fewer than 10 whole time equivalent SLTs in mental health services for the whole of Scotland.

On needs in the justice system:
The RCSLT met the Minister for Community Safety in February and November 2010. A debate was held in the Parliament on 28th October 2010 (tabled by Willie Coffey MSP). The Minister spoke at a RCSLT conference on the issue. At both the debate and conference the Minister encouraged the RCSLT to continue to pursue this issue with stakeholders, to drive change. RCSLT is to report on the conference in Spring 2011 including proposals for a pilot SLT service in Scotland’s justice system, informed by the views of key stakeholders such as Community Justice Authorities, the Scottish Prison Service and NHS Boards. No formal commitment to act has been made by the Scottish Government.