Speech and Language

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Vera Brown House

Galsworthy Road Kingston upon Thames Surrey KT2 7QB
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Patient contact information Tel: 02089735288

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are allied healthcare professionals registered with HCPC. They specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients with speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties. SLTs work as part of a multi-disciplinary team (MDT), which includes other therapy services, e.g. physiotherapy/occupational therapy, nursing staff and the medical team, and in partnership with patients, carers and relatives to provide the best coordinated, holistic, person-centered care.

The Speech and Language Therapy team at Kingston Hospital offer a comprehensive inpatient service that covers all hospital wards, including medical and surgical wards, the Acute Stroke Unit, Orthopaedics, Intensive Care/High Dependency Unit (ITU), Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) and A&E.

Contact Details:

Speech and Language Therapy Department, Kingston Hospital, Galsworthy Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7QB

The Speech and Language Therapy team can be contacted on 020 8973 5288.

Health and Care Professions Council:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist: 


Useful organisations which provide advice and support to patients and their families:

Connect - 0207 367 0840,

Speakability - 0207 261 9572,

Stroke Association - 0207 566 0300,

Dyscover - 01737 819419,

Different strokes - 0845 130 7172,

Parkinson’s UK - 0808 800 0303,

Alzheimers Society - 020 7423 3500,

MNDA Association - 08457 626262,

MS Society - 020 8438 0700,


The Team:

Carlin Conradie - Head of Speech and Language Therapy and Dietetics

Sarah Thompson - Principal Speech and Language Therapist

Ruth O’Hagan - Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Medical and Surgical)

Brigid Jackson - Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Stroke)

Andrew James - Developing Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Sangeeta Bhalla - Developing Specialist Speech and Language Therapist


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SLTs at Kingston Hospital specialise in working with people with a wide range of conditions, including:

· Communication and swallowing problems caused by an acquired neurological condition (such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, brain injury)

Swallowing problems caused or exacerbated by acute illness (such as a chest infection or a urine infection)

· Swallowing problems arising from respiratory conditions, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

· Communication and swallowing problems related to tracheostomy.

The SLTs also provide an assessment and therapy service to patients on the Acute Stroke unit which adheres to the National Stroke Strategy guidelines for quality patient care. At Kingston hospital the SLTs:

  • Screen stroke patients for swallowing disorders within 24 hours of admission
  • Perform a comprehensive swallow assessment within 24 hours of admission
  • Perform an initial assessment of communication problems within 7 days of admission.
  • Contribute to mental capacity assessments.

SLTs run a weekly lunch club which provides patients with the opportunity to socialise and practice speech and communication strategies in a more natural group setting.

SLTs at Kingston Hospital are also trained to conduct videoflouroscopic examinations of swallowing (an x-ray of swallowing) and run weekly videoflouroscopy clinics jointly with the Radiology department. Videoflouroscopy is an important diagnostic tool, which compliments the clinical swallowing assessments that SLTs regularly conduct at the patient’s bedside.

Speech and Language Therapists at Kingston Hospital are fully registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Swallowing difficulties

People with the following medical conditions can have swallowing and communication difficulties.

  • Stroke
  • Head Injury
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Dementia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Acute Infection
  • Increasing Age

Difficulties with Swallowing

The Speech and Language Therapist will assess how well your swallow is working and the risk of food and drink going down the wrong way.  If the muscles used for eating and drinking are weak, food and drink may go down the wrong way into your windpipe to your lungs. This can cause a chest infection.

The Speech and Language Therapist can help by:

  • Giving you exercises/ strategies.
  • They can give you advice on types of food and drink that maybe easier to swallow.

Communication difficulties

  • A Speech and Language Therapist will work with people with communication difficulties. They will:

  • Assess how well you understand and talk
  • Help improve your communication skills
  • Help you and your family to adapt to their new situation
  • Help you and your family find new ways of communicating, using  strategies




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