Around 1 in 4 people with Cerebral Palsy are unable to talk or have difficulty speaking, and need to use computers, tablets or other equipment to enable them to communicate.
Staff from Bobath Scotland visited the Parliament last week, raising awareness of the charity’s services and also highlighting key policy issues with MSPs.
Following the meeting Mark has written to NHS Grampian to ask if they will consider hosting an outreach session in partnership with Bobath for families in the North East.
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to ensure appropriate guidance is prepared for NHS boards, in line with the entitlement to Augmentative and Alternative Communication equipment in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016, to ensure guaranteed and timely provision of communication equipment.
To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to ensure better co-ordination of care and services for people with Cerebral Palsy.
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to increase the availability of multi-disciplinary therapy for people with Cerebral Palsy at all stages of their life.
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to ensure that children who cannot speak do not have to experience a wait for assessment for Augmentative and Augmentative and Alternative Communication equipment, and to ensure the equipment identified as necessary following assessment is delivered without delay to enable them to communicate.
Stephanie Fraser, Chief Executive at Bobath Scotland, said:
“Bobath Scotland is the national charity that provides therapy and support to children and adults across the country who are living with Cerebral Palsy.
“Because of this, we have been at Parliament to talk about our services, and also to ask MSPs to ensure that forthcoming guidance on people’s entitlement to communication equipment and support is sufficiently detailed so that it really will lead to guaranteed and timely provision for all.
“We particularly want children with Cerebral Palsy who cannot speak to not wait for assessment for communication equipment, delivery of that equipment and support to use the equipment, so they can communicate to the best of their ability as soon as possible.”
Commenting, Mark said:
“Knowing people whose lives are affected by Cerebral Palsy, I was keen to discuss the issues Bobath Scotland wished to raise with MSPs.
“It became clear that there were a number of issues which required some clarity, and I have tabled parliamentary questions in the hope of getting more detail and perhaps encouraging the development of appropriate guidance.
“I am also keen to ensure that NHS Grampian works with Bobath to support North East families, and while I am aware that families from the area have gone down to Bobath’s Glasgow therapy centre, I feel the opportunity for an outreach session would be welcomed.
“This would potentially enable families who might find the cost of attending the sessions in Glasgow to be prohibitive, the opportunity to experience Bobath’s multi-disciplinary approach and the benefits it can deliver.”