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Speech and Language Therapy

The Speech and Language Therapy team at UHCW is an innovative, progressive and diverse team. We are a team of 14 speech and language therapists, including therapy assistants and administrative staff, who work across both University Hospital and Hospital of St Cross in Rugby. Our team members cover different clinical areas including head and neck cancer, acute adults and stroke. We also have a Paediatric Therapist who is on site Monday and Thursday.
A Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) is an Allied Health Professional who provides assessment, intervention and advice for patients with communication and swallowing difficulties. We often work collaboratively with other professionals across the trust such as doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and many more to ensure patient-centred care.

Head and Neck Cancer Team
The Macmillan Head and Neck Cancer SLT team support patients with speech, voice and swallowing difficulties as a result of head and neck cancer or its treatments. We see patients at all stages of their cancer journey, from pre-treatment counselling, throughout treatment and for post treatment rehabilitation both as an inpatient and outpatient. We offer a range of diagnostic services including FEES and videofluoroscopy and a range of therapy techniques such as EMST, IOPI and the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Programme.

Acute Adult Team
The Acute SLT team cover all adult inpatients across UHCW. The team assess and manage patients in the hospital with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) and speech and language difficulties. Assessment of dysphagia is usually completed at the patient’s bedside and any recommendations will be discussed with the patients, their family/ carers, nurses and medical teams. Instrumental assessment of swallowing such as Videoflouroscopy (X-ray of swallow) and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of swallowing (FEES) are also carried out by specially trained members of the team.

Stroke Team
Speech and language therapy has a key role in the initial assessment of swallowing and communication difficulties following acute stroke. We work closely with patients, their families and the multi-disciplinary team to tailor therapy to meet the needs of the patient. We provide specialist training, advice and education to patients, carers and other health professionals on communication difficulties and swallow difficulties. Speech and language therapy will often advocate for patients who have communication difficulties by supporting complex mental capacity assessments to ensure patients are given every opportunity to partake in decision making.

Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist
The Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist provides assessment, advice and support for children and babies who have been admitted to the hospital and have difficulties with eating, drinking and/or swallowing. This includes babies and children who have had a change in their eating, drinking or swallowing, babies and children who have not yet had the opportunity to feed by mouth and babies and children where there is a concern about the safety of their swallowing. The Speech and Language Therapist works as part of the multidisciplinary team and will liaise with the community speech and language therapy services at discharge to ensure that follow-up support for feeding is available as needed.

We see inpatients across all wards at UHCW, while our Head and Neck Cancer Team will also see outpatients. Our service runs from Monday to Friday 8am-4pm. Our referrals are received electronically from another professional who has identified swallowing and/or communication difficulties. Following receipt of a referral, an SLT will visit the patient on the ward to assess, diagnose, and manage accordingly.
If further Speech and Language Therapy input is required on discharge from hospital, we will refer the patient to their local Speech and Language Therapy Service.
We do not take self referrals, please contact your GP if you have any concerns with your communication and/or swallowing.
University Hospital: 02476 965709. Community Speech and Language Therapy Team: 02476 237027.

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