Speech and Language Therapy

We assess, differentially diagnose and provide a range of bespoke advice/therapy. We work with people, their families and the multidisciplinary team to manage acute swallowing and communication difficulties.

We triage referrals and provide cover to all wards, in particular, stroke, critical care, respiratory and elderly care. Our team also provides tailored training to a range of healthcare professionals on dysphagia awareness and promote improvements in mouthcare.

Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)

We provide clinical assessment and advice for people with dysphagia. We use a range of strategies including modification of diet and drink consistency to enable people to eat and drink safely when possible. We also work closely with the multidisciplinary team regarding non-oral nutrition/hydration when appropriate.

An instrumental swallowing assessment is sometimes required to gain more information regarding the severity and exact nature of the dysphagia, risk of (silent) aspiration and inform management, including strategies and rehabilitation. 

This can be done either with Videofluoroscopy (a dynamic x-ray) or FEES (naso-endoscopy), to visualise the swallowing anatomy, including whilst eating and drinking. 

We aim to improve people’s ability to swallow, eat and drink. A range of rehabilitation options area used, including exercises to target impaired muscle groups, using small amounts of food and/or drink to re-programme swallowing. We hope to be able to use electrical stimulation techniques soon.

Our team uses the Trust CHOICES guidance to engage in discussions with people regarding what is important for their quality of life (QOL).

Communication

We assess communication (language comprehension, expression, cognition and its impact on communication and motor speech) and establish the most effective ways for people to communicate their needs and engage in in all areas of rehabilitation and care. SLT routinely provides guidance and training on ensuring information is adapted to be accessible to the person with communication difficulties.

We help people to set goals and offer support and information to people with communication difficulties and their families.

We co-design and deliver individualised therapy plans to improve specific speech and language skills, e.g. exersizes about volume and clarity of speech; re-learning how to say family names or words and phrases important to a person.

SLT aim to maximise people’s involvement in making decisions regarding their healthcare, including through facilitating Mental Capacity assessments (MCA).

We have staff based at Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital and provide cover Monday-Friday (with limited voluntary cover on bank holidays). We provide cover to Stamford hospital.

We refer people with ongoing swallowing and/or communication needs to the appropriate Speech and Language Therapy services on discharge.