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Assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist

Assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist

What do Speech and Language Therapists do?

The role of a speech and language therapist (SLT) is to assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. They may also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).

SLTs assist people who have the following types of problems: difficulty producing and using speech; difficulty understanding language; difficulty using language; difficulty with feeding, chewing or swallowing; a stammer; a voice problem (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).

SLTs work in a variety of settings, these include: hospitals (both inpatients and outpatients); community health centres; mainstream and special schools; assessment units and day centres; clients homes (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).

Obtaining an assessment with a Speech and Language Therapist

Most speech and language therapists work for the NHS. If you think you need to see a speech and language therapist ask your GP, district nurse, or health visitor for a referral. You can also refer yourself to your local speech and language therapy service. You do not have to wait for someone else to refer you. You can do this by phoning your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and asking for the number for your local NHS speech and language therapy service (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).

How do I know if a speech and language therapist is properly registered?

All speech and language therapists are required to register with the Health Professions Council (HPC) regulatory body. The HPC is responsible for the conduct, performance and ethical behaviour of its registrants (Health Profession's Council, 2010). Speech and language therapists who do not meet the standards of practice, conduct and behaviour required by the HPC are removed ('struck off') from the HPC register (Health Profession's Council, 2010). Visit the HPC website to check the registration status of a speech and language therapist.

Advice last checked: 18 December 2013 Next check due: 18 December 2016

References

  1. Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists 2010  Speech and Language Therapy
    View reference   Last visited:  16/12/2013 Evidence type: 2