Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings published by the Disabled Children’s Partnership in February 2021 that 70 per cent of disabled children have been unable to get therapies for their development during the covid-19 lockdown, what plans his Department has to ensure that disabled children receive the therapies they need for their development.
NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance entitled ‘COVID-19 restoration of community health services for children and young people: second phase of NHS response in the community health restoration’ on 3 June 2020 and updated this on 31 July 2020. This makes clear that community services, including therapies such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, must be prioritised for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged up to 25 years old and who have an Education Health and Care Plan in place or who are going through an assessment for one. These services fall under the category of ‘continue essential services’.