Green Party Say Community Paediatric Services For Southport Are In Chaos
Rick Furness, a local Green Party campaigner, who stood as a candidate in Kew Ward in this year’s local elections, claims that the ‘Community Paediatrics service for Southport children is not fit for purpose.’
Mr Furness explains that ‘a Community Paediatrician is a specialist, who has a critical role in identifying children that may have Special Educational Needs (SEN); often acting as the first person a family is referred to for assessments, and the person involved in making a diagnosis.’
Children in the Southport area, are generally referred to a service operated by Alder Hey to see a Community Paediatrician, but as a parent of three children with Special Educational Needs, Rick says ‘Over the last three years, I have never seen the same Community Paediatrician more than once, despite attending regular appointments with all three of my children. As a general rule, we often see locum’s who advise other professionals and make referrals. When we go back for the next review, however, the process starts all over again with someone new. We go round in circles, and seem to remain in limbo. Don’t get me wrong, the Community Paediatricians themselves, often seem very knowledgeable, and are full of amazing ideas; but they rarely benefit the child, due to a complete lack of consistency, and new a new person at each appointment. This is seemingly due to recruitment and retention problems within their service.’
Similarly, a Freedom of Information Request, recently outlined distinct waiting time differences in this service, between Southport and the rest of Sefton Rick claims, ‘with an 18 week waiting list on average across Sefton, which is inflated to 26 weeks in Southport specifically.’
As a result, the local Green Party are calling for immediate action. ‘We want Alder Hey and Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, to work closely and prioritise the problems in Community Paediatrics quickly. Children and families in Southport are suffering in many ways as a result of this poorly managed service, and it cannot continue.’
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