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Speech and language therapy

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We work with adults with speech, language and/or swallowing difficulties which may have resulted from:

  • Stroke
  • Progressive neurological conditions
  • (Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease)
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Brain tumours, or other conditions (Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain Barre and Huntington's disease).

We assess, diagnose and manage patients with swallowing difficulties and/or communication problems.

Referrals to the service are usually made by staff on the ward for a communication or swallow assessment.

Our service operates at all three of our hospital sites. The role of Speech and Language Therapy involves:

Communication:

  • Informal and/or formal assessments of speech, language and voice are completed as appropriate
  • Advice and therapy exercises may be provided
  • Support and advice is offered to the patient, family/carers and others involved in their care
  • Communication charts/alphabet charts may be provided to help facilitate communication
  • Written advice leaflets will be provided along with contact details for the Speech and Language Therapist involved

Swallowing:

  • An assessment of swallowing is undertaken involving various consistencies of food and fluids to find out which can be managed safely.
  • Recommendations will be made and communicated to the patient, their family/carers and others involved in their care.
  • Exercises or strategies may be provided to help improve swallow function.
  • If appropriate a referral for further instrumental assessment to examine the swallow in more detail may be advised.
  • Written advice leaflets will be provided along with contact details for the Speech and Language Therapist involved.

We run a specialist head and neck cancer service at Worcestershire Royal Hospital with an outreach service at Hereford Hospital twice a month.

Specialist clinics for people who have been referred by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team with voice or swallowing problems are held at all three of our hospital sites.

Coming into hospital

We provide a service to patients in the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal hospitals.

We work with adults with speech, language and/or swallowing difficulties which may have resulted from:

  • stroke
  • progressive neurological conditions 
    (Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease)
  • head and neck cancer
  • acquired brain injury
  • brain tumours, or
  • other conditions (Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain Barre and Huntington's disease).

We assess, diagnose and manage patients with swallowing difficulties and/or communication problems.

Referrals to the service are usually made by staff on the ward for a communication or swallow assessment.

Our role involves:

  • Communication
  • Informal and/or formal assessments of speech, language and voice are completed as appropriate
  • Advice and therapy exercises may be provided
  • Support and advice is offered to the patient, family/carers and others involved in their care
  • Communication charts/alphabet charts may be provided to help facilitate communication
  • Written advice leaflets will be provided along with contact details for the Speech and Language Therapist involved
  • Swallowing
  • An assessment of swallowing is undertaken involving various consistencies of food and fluids to find out which can be managed safely.
  • Recommendations will be made and communicated to the patient, their family/carers and others involved in their care.
  • Exercises or strategies may be provided to help improve swallow function.
  • If appropriate a referral for further instrumental assessment to examine the swallow in more detail may be advised.
  • Written advice leaflets will be provided along with contact details for the Speech and Language Therapist involved.

If you need continued support once you leave hospital, we will talk to the appropriate community services to arrange a follow up for you.

Team working helps us to deliver quality, tailored care to our patients. We aim to include the patient, family and carers in decisions regarding their care.

All speech and language therapists are registered with the Health Professions Council as the national regulatory body and with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Our speech and language therapy department

We provide speech and language therapy services at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch and Worcestershire Royal Hospital. 

Specialist clinics for people who have been referred by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team with voice or swallowing problems are held at all three of our hospital sites. 

We also run a specialist head and neck cancer service at Worcestershire Royal with an outreach service at Hereford Hospital twice a month.

Speech and language therapy clinics and specialties

SLT procedure

Head and neck cancer service

We run a specialist head and neck cancer service at Worcestershire Royal with an outreach service at Hereford Hospital twice a month.

The speech and language therapy service for patients with head and neck cancer is provided as part of the multidisciplinary team. 

We can see patients early following diagnosis alongside a dietitian, clinical nurse specialist and counsellor as appropriate. 

There is also the opportunity to have 1:1 therapy.

Our role is to assess speech and swallowing difficulties prior to any treatment starting. You will then be given advice in terms of exercise regimes. 

We will support you alongside your course of treatment in clinics known as 'pre-treatment' and 'post-treatment'. Here you will be given strategies which may alleviate their symptoms. 

We provide a more 'instrumental' assessment of swallowing using an x-ray or fine camera. This allows you to have a better understanding of the nature of your swallowing difficulty.

Using these assessments we can provide individual packages of care.

Surgical Voice Restoration (SVR) service

A surgical voice restoration (SVR) service is provided if you have had your voice box surgically removed and are able to use a speaking valve. 

We can offer rehabilitation to establish your new communication method. 

We also offer a 'Focus on Laryngectomy' day where patients with a laryngectomy can come and share experiences and discover new initiatives and/or equipment in a supportive environment.

Hereford County Hospital

We currently support an outreach clinic at Hereford alongside a dietitian and clinical nurse specialist on a fortnightly basis. 

If more frequent appointments are needed then we can offer clinics at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Living Well Programme

Voice therapy

Specialist clinics for people who have been referred by the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team with voice or swallowing problems are held at all three of our hospital sites. 

Attending for voice therapy

You will have been referred to us by your consultant ENT surgeon. This person and your GP will be kept informed of your progress. 

You will be seen by a speech and language therapist who will be responsible for your assessment and treatment.

What is voice therapy?

Voice therapy involves the assessment and treatment of problems with the voice. 

It may be that an indirect approach will be helpful in order to manage your voice problems. This could include educating you in ways to care for your voice, or it may be that your voice will be improved by a programme of exercises devised specifically for you. 

The voice therapist will talk to you about the best way to improve your voice when you meet with them on the first visit. 

Before your appointment

If you are unable to attend for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting the department on 01905 733133. If you fail to attend an appointment without informing us you will be discharged from our service. 

If you do not speak English please tell us before your first visit so that we can arrange an interpreter for your first appointment. 

Please bring your appointment card or letter with you on each visit. If you wear glasses please also bring these with you along with any exercise sheets you have been given by the department.

Your appointment

Please try and attend your appointment on time. We try, as far as possible, to see people on time. 

Your appointment will last for half an hour to an hour. On your first visit you will be offered a course of treatment and further appointments if appropriate. If there is anything you do not understand about your treatment, please just ask.

After your appointment

If you are given exercises to do at home, you will be expected to do these on a regular basis. If you have any questions or concerns before your next appointment you can contact the department on the number given.

After a course of treatment you will be discharged from the Speech and Language Therapy department but you can contact us if you have any further problems.

Speech and language therapy glossary

Below are some of the words you may hear your Speech and Language Therapist and other professionals use to describe your speech and swallowing.

Cognition 
Cognition affects your ability to do any task, it includes the processes of thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem-solving.

Dysarthria 
This is a term used to describe a weakness in the muscles used for speech, this can affect the clarity of speech and it can often sound slurred.

Dysfluency 
This is when the fluent flow and timing of speech is interrupted by stoppages. This may also be called stammering or stuttering.

Dysphagia 
This term is used to describe difficulties with swallowing; these can happen as a result of a stroke, head injury, oral surgery, Progressive diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease etc.

Dysphasia or Aphasia 
General term used to describe language problems which can result from a stroke or head injury. It can affect one or all of the areas of communication i.e. understanding, speech, reading and writing.

Dyspraxia or Apraxia 
This is a condition which affects the ability to sequence and coordinate the muscles used for speech. There is often no weakness in the muscles themselves but it is more difficult to move them when and how you want to.

Language 
The knowledge and use of words to convey meaning, this can be spoken, written, signed or represented by symbols.

Multidisciplinary team 
A group or team of professionals that work, assess, and/or deliver treatment to clients E.g. Speech and language therapist, Physiotherapist, Occupational therapist and a consultant.

Speech 
The ability to produce and articulate sounds in order to form words.

Voice disorder 
A voice disorder is an abnormality of or change in a person’s voice. This can be a change in the pitch, volume and quality of the voice.

Health professionals

Health professionals

How to make a referral from within the Trust for a current inpatient
(For the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals)

By phone: phone the inpatient referral form to 33296

When making a referral please include;

Patient's name
Patient number
Date of birth
Current diagnosis
Relevant PMH
Reason for referral
swallow and/or communication
current nutritional status e.g. NBM, NG feeding

If you are a GP and would like to make a referral for voice therapy 
Patients referred for voice therapy will first need to be referred to an ENT consultant before being seen by speech and language therapy.

Our service does not cover people under the age of 18, patients seen in the community or adults with a learning disability.

Meet the team

Please contact the department on: 01905 760 475

Contact us

We provide speech and language therapy services at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch and Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

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