Children in Western NSW are embracing a healthier future empowered by language and communication, with four Western NSW primary care programs being hailed for their effectiveness as part of Speech Pathology Week 2022.
Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) has been funding Speech Pathology programs since 2016, with an aim to improve the longer-term health outcomes for children at risk of developmental delays by providing early intervention speech pathology services.
Western NSW children are currently accessing around 750 speech pathology sessions each quarter, while the overall Speech Pathology Program has a particular focus on the first 2000 days of life (children under five and a half years of age).
In feedback provided by the children involved in the program, they note their “speechie” (Speech Pathologist) has helped them to learn sounds, to talk, to use words, to play, and to sound out words.
All parental feedback regarding the services has noted the program’s effectiveness for their child, as well as the parents’ satisfaction, including a "Real interest in follow through and helping progress and move forward for my son", and “…is the first time that I have felt my son’s needs have been recognised and met”.
WNSW PHN’s four Speech Pathology Program providers are:
- NSW Outback Division of General Practice (ODGP), servicing Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, and Enngonia.
- Marathon Health, servicing Coonamble, Cowra, Dunedoo, Gilgandra, Grenfell, Gulargambone, Gulgong, Mendooran, Narromine, Nyngan, Quandialla, Trangie, Warren, and Wellington.
- Eloquent Speech, servicing Balranald.
- Robinvale District Health Service, servicing Balranald, Buronga, Gol Gol, and Wentworth.
WNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Coe, has praised the service providers and their speech pathologists for the results being achieved.
“Our Commissioned Service Providers are doing a superb job in delivering speech pathology to our region’s children, but also working closely with parents and teachers with referrals and follow up, and the achievements of the children really do speak for themselves,” said Mr Coe.
“With the introduction of technologies like telehealth, there really is potential for speech pathology services in our region to grow as well as reducing wait times for parents eager for their child to access the program.”
He added, “I congratulate ODGP, Marathon Health, Eloquent Speech, and Robinvale District Health Service, as well as every one of our region’s Speech Pathologists for giving our region’s children such valuable assistance in improving their quality of life now and for the future.”
Feedback Quotes - Children
Some of the children's comments on the question "How has the Speech Pathologist helped you" have included:
- "By learning my sounds"
- "Helping me do words"
- "Helped me sound out the words"
Feedback Quotes - Parents
Some feedback in the comment section from parents of children accessing speech pathology services have included:
- "Real interest in follow through and helping progress and move forward for my son"
- "Child responded very well to S (clinician)"
- "Living in a rural town makes it extremely hard to access the services we need. Working with marathon health speech pathology is the first time that I have felt my son’s needs have been recognised and met. The work R (clinician) has done with my son is brilliant and will improve his quality of life"
- "B (clinician) my son’s speech pathologist was fantastic! She listened and provided him with the necessary support. She kept me updated with everything he was doing, and she had a lovely kind nature working with him"
Emelia Bett: Eloquent Speech Pathology - Speech Pathologist