Speech and Language Therapy Service
This page will provide you with information you may need to look after a service user with Communication or Swallowing problems. The service is currently open to patients who are an inpatient within the trust.
What is Speech and Language therapy?
Speech and language therapy help for communication problems:
Communication difficulties may affect a person’s mental well being, their relationships and their ability to express ideas, needs and feelings. A speech and language therapist will look at all aspects of a person’s communication skills: language, speech, voice and non-verbal messages as well as their emotional state and the environment they are in which affect all of these things.
Help for swallowing problems (dysphagia):
Speech and language therapists, because of their detailed knowledge of head and neck anatomy, have also become specialists in the diagnosis and management of swallowing problems. We can assess and advise on difficulties holding food in the mouth, chewing and swallowing. Swallowing problems, for obvious reasons, present very serious potential risks to those who experience them, including choking and aspiration pneumonia, both of which can be fatal, so early assessment and management of these difficulties is vital
How can we help?
- The speech and language therapist will work together with the service user, his family and the healthcare team to identify the problem and look at solutions for dealing with it. It may be that the service user himself can make adjustments to his behaviour or that those around him may ease the situation by the way they approach communication or mealtimes.
- Sometimes simply increasing people’s awareness of the factors involved can lead to better interaction or more successful eating.
- Training for team members therefore, on issues affecting communication and swallowing will be an important part of the speech and language therapist’s role.
The Speech and Language Therapy Service is available to help with:-
- Assessing and providing advice around Communication – including attention and listening skills; understanding spoken language and expressive communication.
- Assessing and providing advice around swallowing difficulties including eating, drinking and taking medications.
- Increase staff’s awareness of the communication needs of our service users and provide them with realistic and helpful suggestions of how to record, improve and increase communication.
- Increase staff’s awareness of swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), and offering support and guidance to manage these safely to reduce the risk of aspiration or choking.
- Provide the latest evidence surrounding Communication and Swallowing interventions to support best practice throughout the trust.
Referrals are made by the Multidisciplinary team