The Community SLT team, of 6 Speech & Language Therapists and 2 Assistant Practitioners, work across Nottingham, seeing a wide variety of adult clients, in their own homes, community settings and care homes. We work closely with other community health and social care teams, including GP surgeries, Supportive & Palliative Care services, Integrated Care Homes teams, social care and the voluntary sector. Our clients present with a wide range of aetiologies, including stroke, dementia, progressive neurology, respiratory conditions and stammering.
- We triage daily
- If someone is deemed urgent, we aim to see them within 5 working days
- All routine patients we aim to see within 30 working days.
A large part of our work involves assessing and managing swallowing difficulties. The main aim of this is to reduce aspiration and choking risk and enable clients to eat and drink safely.
Another important part of our role involves facilitating capacity assessments for people with communication disorders. We work closely with colleagues in social care to empower patients to understand information and communicate their decisions regarding important life choices. This can include decisions about having a modified diet and fluids or alternative feeding.
Communication input could include:
- one to one impairment-based therapy
- optimising the environment
- providing AAC/communication books
- promoting choice making and supporting clients to express basic needs and wishes
- supporting and educating care staff about the nature of the difficulty and how effectively communicate with clients
- we run a variety of groups for different client groups such as people who have a stammer, and aphasia and for people with Parkinson’s disease voice changes.
Our role in end-of-life care:
Provide consultation to patients, families and the care team regarding:
- Develop strategies in the area of communication skills to support the patient’s role in decision making, maintain social closeness and assist the patient in achieving the fulfilment of end-of-life goals
- Assist in optimising function related to dysphagia symptoms to improve patient comfort and satisfaction. Promote positive feeding interactions with formal and informal carers
Any concerns are escalated within the home initially, and incident reports are completed as appropriate, if issues persist we would refer to the safeguarding team.
Whilst we can support with non-compliance issues, once we have made recommendations it is ultimately the responsibility of the care home to implement these.
Care home training
We offer a safe eating and drinking training programme to care homes. This is free and tailored to the individual home. It is open to both qualified and unqualified staff and can include catering staff.
For more information, please call 0115 8834707
Referrals can be made through Nottingham City Health & Care Point SPA.