Children's speech and language therapy

Who are we?

The Children's Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Service in Shropshire provides assessment and treatment of speech, language, communication and/or swallowing difficulties for children and young people from birth to 16 years old (or to 19 years if in full time education).

Speech and Language Therapists are "Allied Health Professionals" and are governed by two ogranisations;

  • The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC): all Speech and Language Therapists must be registered with this organisation in order to call themselves Qualified Speech and Language Therapists.
  • The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT): to be eligible for full membership of this organisation members must have successfully completed a degree qualification in Speech and Language Therapy.
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Our services

What we offer What this involves
Assessment

We assess the child/young person's speech and language/swallowing skills at home, in a clinic, at a drop-in, or at school/nursery.
Treatment
The treatment is dependent on the child/young person's needs. Treatment can be either on an individual basis or within a group. We offer treatment either in a clinic, school/early years setting or at home, based on the child's needs.
Specialist Treatment
Specialist treatment is provided at Children's Development Centres (CDCs) in Shrewsbury and Telford for young children. There are two Language Classes for children with Specific Speech or Language Impairment in Telford and Wrekin. In Shropshire this Specialist service for school-aged children is provided by outreach support to schools.

We also have specialist teams who work with children in the areas of Dysfluency (stammering), Cleft Lip/Palate, Dysphagia (Swallowing), Learning and Physical Disabilities and ASD (Autism). Some of these specialists are based at the Child Development Centres or at Special Schools across the county. Other teams provide specialist services in the community and therapists will often arrange sessions at local clinics.

Also Telford and Wrekin Local Authority commission a specialist service – SALTIS to provide additional support for children in Reception and Year one in their schools.
Training
We offer training packages to parents, usually in the form of parent groups. We provide training to schools and early years settings and to partner organisations.

The people we see

The service is open to referrals from anyone who works with children and young people up to 16 years old, or 19 if in full time education, and from parents/carers directly.

We accept referrals for children with moderate to severe speech, language or communication needs, or with mild difficulties where parental anxiety is high.

We also work with children with feeding difficulties.

New patients

Referrals to the Speech and Language Therapy team can be made either through a health professional (such as a doctor/ GP) or through a school or early years setting referral.

Parents or carers may also make self referrals by telephoning Coral House on 01743 450800.

Please see our referral form in the Patient Information section to the right.

Existing patients

After your initial appointment with the Speech and Language Therapist they will share their direct contact details with you.

If you are unsure of the name of the Therapist you have an appointment with, or you wish to make a general enquiry please contact either Coral House on 01743 450800 or The Stepping Stones Centre on 01952 567301.

Services we do not offer

  • Elocution and working on accents.
  • Dyslexia and helping children to read and write.
  • Teaching children how to speak English as an additional language (EAL).
  • We do not see older children with behavioural feeding difficulties unless they have been known to us since early childhood.
  • Young people aged over 14 with voice disorders should be referred to the SLT voice team at Shropshire and Telford Hospital NHS Trust. Contact 01743 261417.

What you should bring with you

  • Any relevant paperwork either medical or educational.
  • We do not routinely look at the 'red book' but the information in there can be useful.

Frequently asked questions

Does my child have a problem?

Take a look at the Talking Point Parents' web page. There is lots of useful information here. There is also a progress checker.

Why does my child have a problem?

All children are unique individuals with different strengths and abilities. At the same time their general development is likely to follow a broad pattern seen in all children.

Often difficulties with 'understanding' language and 'talking' are part of a picture of 'delay'. This means that with extra help from everyone who knows the child that this delay can be reduced and they can start to catch up with their peers.

Occasionally children may have a difficulty with communicating that is very specific, which means that no other area of their development is affected, just their speech or language. We aim to give these children the highest level of support.

Sometimes children have communication difficulties alongside other developmental, sensory or physical difficulties. We work closely with parents and staff in early years settings and schools to support children to develop their functional communication skills. This may be through the use of technology or symbols or signing, not just through talking and listening

Have I done anything wrong?

Background history is important information to us and helps us see your child as a whole, unique individual. When we are working with you and your child we will concentrate on helping your child achieve their potential in the 'here and now'.

Can I refer my child myself?

Parents can call our main office at Coral House on 01743 450800 and will then be asked a series of questions by our administrators.

We accept all referrals from parents who are highly anxious.

We also accept referrals from other agencies, including Early Years' settings, Schools, Childrens Centres and Health Visitors.

How long will I wait for my first appointment?

We aim to see all new referrals within 18 weeks from the date we receive the referral form. Often we are able to offer an appointment sooner than this. You will usually receive an 'opt in letter' and when you contact us we will offer you an appointment date.

How long will my appointment take?

Initial clinic appointments may last up to 45 minutes, or 45 to 90 minutes if it is an appointment for dysfluency (stammering).

Review and Treatment appointments usually take less time.

How do I cancel an appointment?

Please telephone Coral House on 01743 450800 or The Stepping Stones Centre on 01952 567301 as soon as possible.

What happens if my child won't talk to the therapist?

Don't worry this happens quite a bit. Sometimes even very shy children do eventually 'warm up' and speak. If not we can arrange to see them again, either back in the clinic or somewhere else where they feel more comfortable.

How long will the treatment take?

Clinic-based treatments are usually offered in blocks which may run over several weeks. Following a block of treatment your child will be placed on a period of review. The length of a review period will vary and will be agreed between you and your therapist, and will usually involve discussion with your child's education provider.

Some children may only need one block of treatment. Others may require ongoing intervention. This will depend on the nature of your child's difficulties.

Early intervention is proven to be very effective and the amount and frequency of Speech and Language Therapy support required by most children decreases as they progress from nursery/ pre-school into school, and in particular into Key Stage 2.

What support is available for my child?

We aim to adapt the services we offer to meet the needs of each individual child. This means that your child may receive support in a number of different ways. Your local therapist will discuss the options with you at your initial appointment or future review appointments.

Packages of care we may offer;

  • Assessment and Advice
  • Clinic-based therapy: this may be carried out individully or as part of a group with other children
  • Nursery/School-based therapy: this may include working with schools to train staff to carry out Speech and Language Therapy Interventions
  • Home-based programmes: these programmes are designed to be carried out by parents, carers and families with support from your local Speech and Language Therapist
  • Training for parents/carers, school and nursery settings
  • Language Class (Telford)
  • Speech and Language Therapy Inclusion Service (SALTIS) (Telford)
  • Severe Specific Language Impaired Children's Service (SSLIC) (Shropshire)
  • Individual or group therapy carried out by Speech and Language Therapy Assistants
When will my child be discharged?

Children may be discharged from the Speech and Language Therapy Service for a number of different reasons.

These reasons may include;

  • When your child reaches their full communication potential
  • When their communication skills are developmentally in line with their peers
  • If parents/carers choose that they would no longer like support from the service
  • If the child moves out of the area
  • If the child fails to attend an appointment and there is no attempt made by the parent/carer to re-arrange the appointment

 

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and our "Local Offer"

What is the Local Offer?

The local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. You can find out more about information about this on our SEND reforms and Local Offers page.

Service Description

The Children's Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Service across all of Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire provides assessment and treatment of speech, language, communication and/or swallowing difficulties for children and young people from birth to 18 years old (or to 19 years if in full time education).

Please see the "Our services" section for a complete list of what we provide.

Please be aware that waiting times for appointments vary in responses to changes in demand, and because as assessments are provided locally.

What do you provide to children and young people with an additional need and or disability 0-25yrs?

We provide a client centred speech and language therapy service to children and young people( up to 19 years old) who have additional needs or disability in the following groups

  • Pre-school children including those with eating, drinking and swallowing Difficulties (Dysphagia)
  • RTA / Trauma / Hospital discharge
  • Children referred for CDC assessment
  • Children undergoing educational health care plan assessment
  • Children with severe / specific learning difficulties and / or complex needs, where there is an additional identified speech/language/ communication need and/or eating/drinking/swallowing need, attending special schools in Telford (Bridge, Haughton, Southall) and Shropshire (Severndale, Shrewsbury)
  • Children with learning difficulties and / or complex needs, where there is an additional identified speech/language/ communication need and/or eating/drinking/swallowing need, attending mainstream schools
  • Children with Specific Speech and Language Difficulties
  • Children with Cleft Palate Disorders
  • Children with and young people with a physical, disability who are experiencing functional communication and / or eating, drinking, swallowing difficulties and who are integrated into mainstream school settings
  • Children with Dysfluency
  • Children with Voice Disorders

We work in partnership with the child, parent, family and carers, professionals and voluntary organisations to provide interventions that maximise the individual potential of each child personally, functionally, academically and socially.

The amount, frequency and type of therapy assessments and interventions are based on each child’s strengths difficulties and needs.

The need for ongoing intervention is regularly reviewed with the parents, child or young person.

We regularly evaluate of the quality and effectiveness of the service through processes of user feedback, and outcome measures.

Do we provide support for parents and carers?

Although assessment and intervention is focused on the child’s needs, support is provided for the child’s parents or carers to help them to understand their child’s condition, to enable them develop and use strategies, activities and skills to support their child, and to be at the centre of their child’s care.

Who can use our service? Age? Disability?

Our service is available for children aged between 0-18 years (19 years if in full time education) who are registered to a GP within either Shropshire or Telford and Wrekin geographical boundaries. We actively encourage parents and professionals to refer children before year 6 in Primary School, or by the end of year 7 in Secondary Schools.

The service is offered to all children and young people regardless of ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender and disability backgrounds

How to access our service (inc. referral routes)

We operate an open referral system. We accept referrals from parents, school or any other professional with parents’ consent for children between the ages of 0 to 18.

We ask that all referrals are made using our age related referral forms which are available from our administration teams or can be downloaded from our website. We accept letters of referral from consultants and GPs. Parents are able to make telephone referrals. We actively encourage all school SENCOs to make referrals early in the school year and no later than May 1st each year.

Existing patients can contact us directly for help and support. We are able to discuss any difficulties up to one year after discharge, by telephone, without a re-referral (01743 450800)

When and where is our service available?

The service is currently open Mondays - Fridays, 08:30 - 17:00 (except Bank Holidays).

Our main bases are shown in the "Contact us" section on this page (right-hand column).

Clinics are held across the different venues on different days of the week. We use clinic space at the locations listed below.

Shropshire

  • Bishop’s Castle
  • Bridgnorth
  • Coral House
  • Craven Arms
  • Ludlow
  • Market Drayton
  • Monkmoor Campus (Shrewsbury)
  • Oswestry
  • Princess House
  • Wem
  • Whitchurch

Telford

  • Donnington Health Centre
  • Hadley Clinic
  • Newport (Cottage Hospital)
  • Phoenix Academy (Dawley)
  • Stepping Stones (Malinslee)
  • Stirchley Medical Practice
  • Woodlands Child and Family Centre (Madeley)

Community settings

Our Speech and Language Therapists work in schools and various community settings. Parents may be asked to travel to clinics or schools for appointments. Therapists may visit children, young people and their carers/families at home to monitor their progress or provide interventions.

How can families contact the service?

Families can contact the service to ask for advice or find out more about what we provide by contacting us on:

  • Tel: 01743 450 800

Interpreters are available for assessments of children and young people if either they or their main carers do not speak English or if they use other means of communication such as signing.

Feedback and Complaints

The service receives feedback from parents, partners and children and young people in the following ways:

  • Through our planned audits which include user feedback
  • Care planning and goal setting review
  • Sharing and learning from informal comments, complaints and compliments

Wherever possible complaints are dealt with verbally and locally with clinical staff, clinical leads and managers. If you have any questions or concerns talk with your child’s Speech and Language Therapist.

Shropshire Community Health Trust has a dedicated Patient Liaison Service (PALS) and a Complaints Manager who are both available to be contacted for support. A link for further details about these services may be found in the relevant section below.

For external agencies: is the service free or charged?

Currently support for individual children is free. Charges may be made for training.

Is the service accredited? If so, by whom?

Care Quality Commission

How can families complain if they are not happy with the service?

All complaints are handled by our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints teams.

 

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