What we do
The Speech and Language Therapy Community Team provides assessment, therapy, support and advice for adults (and their families/carers) experiencing difficulties with their communication and/or swallowing. Therapy sessions may be offered:
- In person at one of our community clinics
- In person home visit (only offered for people who are confined to their homes)
- Via telephone
- Via video call
Information from the assessment is used to tailor therapy to the individual’s difficulties, needs and goals. This includes but not limited to assessment and therapy for:
- Difficulties with speech (dysarthria)
- Difficulties with language (dysphasia)
- Voice changes (dysphonia)
- Transgender voice
- Lee Silverman Voice Treatment™ for people with Parkinson’s Disease
- Provision of communication aids including voice banking
- Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) including videofluoroscopy (x-ray of the swallow)
Therapy may be offered one to one or in groups. Therapy programs may also be conducted by our Speech and Language Therapy Assistants with oversight from a Speech and Language Therapist.
The Speech and Language Therapy Inpatient Team provides assessment, therapy, advice and support for inpatients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, experiencing difficulties with their communication and/or swallowing. The SLT team delivers services to areas such as Surgical, Stroke, Critical Care, Respiratory and Care of the Elderly. An outreach service is also provided to Clifton Hospital. The therapists work closely with patients, families, doctors, nursing staff and other allied health professionals to meet the patient’s needs and goals. This includes, but not limited to:
- Bedside assessment of communication and swallowing
- Therapy for communication and swallowing needs where appropriate
- Advice surrounding communication and swallowing during end of life care
- Videofluoroscopy assessment of swallowing
- Fibreoptic Endoscopic Examination of Swallowing
- Discharge planning, including referring patients to appropriate community services
If you have been discharged from hospital and are still under the care of the speech and language therapy department, you will be automatically added to the community waiting list for a review.
If you have been advised to have texture modified diet and fluids whilst in the hospital you will receive a discharge pack with information about your diet and fluid recommendations.
This will include a booklet with advice on how to thicken drinks, how to modify diet and a tub of thickener. If you do not receive this when you leave hospital, please contact the department on 01253 953873.
For further information please see the help and advice section.
This service can only accept referrals for people aged 18 years and over.
Appropriate referrals include the following:
- Admitted specifically for investigation of a swallowing disorder
- A documented diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia
- On thickened fluids in the community and require advice
- Have been seen by a water swallow screen nurse and failed this test
- Newly diagnosed speech or language difficulties e.g aphasia, dysarthria
- Communication or swallowing problems where the clients presentation has changed
- Transfers from other SLT departments
Inpatient referral to speech and language therapy is not appropriate if:
- Patient’s swallowing difficulty is with tablets only – consider liquid medications
- Patient is known to SLT and is currently managing their previously recommended diet/ fluids
- Symptoms indicate an oesophageal stage problem e.g regurgitation, vomiting, problem with food sticking after the swallow, no difficulty swallowing liquids
- Difficulty chewing due to poor dentition – consider soft and bite sized or minced and moist or pureed diet
- Behavioural eating and drinking problem – refusing or spitting out food, intermittently holding food/ fluid in the mouth (pouching). SLT can advise strategies only – phone ext 53873
- Only problem is poor appetite, declining to eat or drink
- Too drowsy to manage sufficient oral intake
- Weight loss with no apparent swallowing difficulties
- Client is Feeding at Risk – this has been documented and there have been no changes since documentation
Patients who have a history of head and neck cancer or are currently under the ear, nose and throat department and require speech and language therapy assessment should be referred to the specialist ENT speech and language therapist. Call 01253 952314 for more information.