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Speech and Language Therapy

 Speech and Language Therapy is concerned with the management of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing in children and adults.
Speech and Language Therapists work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as Teachers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Doctors. There are around 13,000 practising SLTs in the UK.
Speech and language therapists work in these areas:
  • community health centres
  • hospital wards
  • outpatient departments
  • mainstream and special schools
  • children's centres
  • day centres
  • clients' homes
  • courtrooms
  • prisons
  • young offenders' institutions
  • independently/in private practice
Speech and language therapists work with:

Babies with:

  • feeding and swallowing difficulties
Children with:
  • mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • language delay
  • specific language impairment
  • specific difficulties in producing sounds
  • hearing impairment
  • cleft palate
  • stammering
  • autism/social interaction difficulties
  • dyslexia
  • voice disorders
  • selective mutism
Adults with:
  • communication or eating and swallowing problems following neurological impairments and degenerative conditions, including stroke, head injury, Parkinson's disease and dementia
  • head, neck or throat cancer
  • voice problems
  • mental health issues
  • learning difficulties
  • physical disabilities
  • stammering
  • hearing impairment

Speech and Language Therapy Services

Services are provided across North Wales in each of the district general hospitals, community hospitals, clinics, children’s centres, and homes with a significant proportion being delivered in partnership with the Local Authorities. Integrated services are provided in areas such as Learning Difficulties, ENT, and Stroke Rehabilitation.
There are departmental links across Wales and the UK e.g. national clinical networks and with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
There is a history of close collaboration with Higher and Further Education Institutions to ensure safe and competent working within the integrated services, and to develop shared practice and skills e.g. Llandrillo College, Bangor University, and UWIC.
Close working in collaboration with voluntary agencies has influenced many quality projects which have become part of core service delivery. These relationships have provided support for service users, and also engagement with planning, training and service developments. Examples include Afasic enabling the training for parents/carers, and the Stroke Association in the development of the Communication Plus service.

Last updated: 18 August 2011