Our Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) work with people with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Communication and swallowing problems caused by neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease or brain injury
- Swallowing problems caused or exacerbated by acute illness or infections
- Swallowing problems arising from respiratory conditions
- Communication and swallowing problems related to tracheostomy
The SLT will assess how well the muscles you use for eating and drinking are working and the risk of food and drink going down the wrong way.
They can help by giving you exercises to perform, and advice on types of food and drink that may be easier to swallow.
If you are having communication difficulties, the SLT will:
- Assess how well you understand and talk
- Help to improve your communication skills
- Help you and your family adapt to a new situation
- Help you and your family find new ways of communicating
Our SLTs provide assessment and therapy to patients on our Acute Stroke unit. They:
- Carry out a comprehensive swallow assessment within 24 hours of admission
- Perform an initial assessment of communication problems within seven days
- Help with mental capacity assessments
The SLTs also run a weekly lunch club where you can socialise and practise your speech and communication strategies in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Our team are also trained to take X-rays of swallowing (videofluoroscopy) to complement the assessments conducted at your bedside.
Several organisations provide advice and support to patients and their families:
Connect: 0207 367 0840, www.ukconnect.org
Speakability: 0207 261 9572, www.speakability.org.uk
Stroke Association: 0207 566 0300, www.stroke.org.uk
Dyscover: 01737 819419, http://dyscover.org.uk/
Different Strokes: 0845 130 7172, http://www.differentstrokes.co.uk/
Parkinson’s UK: 0808 800 0303, http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/
Alzheimer’s Society: 020 7423 3500, http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
MNDA Association: 08457 626262, http://www.mndassociation.org/
MS Society: 020 8438 0700, http://www.mssociety.org.uk/