Children in the east of Scotland with special needs have been targeted by Lothian Health in a pound;200,000 campaign to improve provision. Most of the money will be spent in Edinburgh to create paediatric posts serving homes, schools and clinics in the city.
Posts will also be created for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and dieticians. East and Midlothian will receive pound;30,000 for additional occupational therapists and physiotherapists. West Lothian will receive pound;20,000.
Malcolm Wright, chief executive of the Edinburgh Sick Children's NHS Trust, said the new resources reflected a long-standing recognition that schools had not been adequately served.
Martin Vallely, Lothian's principal officer for pupil support services, agreed but added: "There has been some disquiet that this has come at the end of Lothian Region. But it is a very positive thing to hand over to the new authorities."
Prospect Bank, a special school in Edinburgh that has 60 children with moderate learning difficulties, could gain two-and-a-half occupational therapists; a vacant full-time post has been left unfilled for the past four years. Liz Little, the school's headteacher, commented: "This is a corporate activity: the teachers missed the input and the children needed it."