Adult speech and language therapy (SLT) provide community services to people aged 19 years and over who are resident in the boroughs of Stockton and Hartlepool.
The following lists give examples of referrals that speech and language therapy may or may not be able to support. It is not an exhaustive list. If, after reading this list, you are still unsure please contact the speech therapy department for advice before referring.
For any queries contact the speech and language therapy department:
Phone 01429 522471
Email [email protected]
Referrals for the following will usually be appropriate and will be accepted at Triage:
Swallowing or communication problems associated with neuro-muscular conditions
Frequent coughing and choking specifically when eating and drinking
Recurrent chest infections or pneumonia where aspiration is suspected as the cause
Weight loss connected to the above
Neurological diagnosis which is causing swallowing or communication problems
Newly diagnosed speech or language problems e.g. dysphasia, dyspraxia, dysarthria or stammering
Voice difficulties assessed and diagnosed by ENT consultant
Communication and/or swallowing problems where advice has been followed but the client’s presentation has changed i.e. a significant improvement/deterioration in their skills.
Please ensure that all information on the referral form is complete, including an up to date contact number. Incomplete referrals will be returned to you for completion before being accepted into the SLT service.
Referrals for the following are likely to be rejected at Triage:
Residents with a learning disability
Resulting in a communication or swallowing difficulty who are currently receiving intervention from the specialist learning disability team (LD) Tees Esk and Wear Valley Trust. These patients should be referred to learning disabilities speech and language team in the Tees Esk and Wear Valley Trust (TEWV) by phoning 01642 368555. Residents not known to TEWV Trust are to be referred to the local speech and language therapy (SLT) team.
Residents aged 65 or over with a mental health condition
Who have a CPN or mental health consultant. Refer to: MHSOP Nutrition and Dysphagia Team, Beech Day Unit, Westpark Hospital, Edward Pease Way, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 2TS. Phone: 01325 552156.
For example, loss of voice, hoarseness, not diagnosed by ENT Consultant. All voice referrals should be referred via client’s GP to consultant ENT surgeon at the: James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW.
Routine care reviews
Request for SLT following continuing care review/social worker/funding reviews or change of care home where there is no clinical change or new need. Continue with recommendations from most recent SLT report/advice.
For example, a resident for whom SLT have recommended a puree diet and staff have offered a textured diet then contacted SLT to review. By giving a client an upgraded diet, you have accepted the responsibility for that decision and the risk that the client may aspirate. Where residents are felt to have improved, referral to SLT should be made PRIOR to any alteration to their diet or fluids.
Symptoms of reflux
Dry mouth or throat, globus (feeling of lump in throat), habitual throat clearing, hoarse voice, dry cough after eating and through the night, heartburn/chest pain or indigestion or ‘sticking’ in the sternum. Consult GP re: medication advice and/or referral to gastroenterology or ENT.
Suspect thrush or other infection
With reduced eating/drinking associated with this. Consult GP and only contact SLT if there are difficulties swallowing after the infection(s) have cleared.
Problems swallowing tablets
Where other oral intake is normal. Request a medication review with GP/pharmacist to seek advice regarding alternatives.
Poorly fitting dentures or poor dentition
Is resulting in a lack of chewing. This is not a swallowing problem. Consider trying softer foods as able and seek dental advice.