Speech & Language Therapy (Adult)

  • Support and treatment for people having difficulties with speech, language and/or swallowing e.g. from stroke, head injury or degenerative neurological disease.

  • Address: Newfield House, CV1 4DW

About this Service


Adult Community Speech and Language Therapy


What we do

We provide support and advice to individuals who have difficulties with swallowing, speech, language, voice or communication.

There may be a number of reasons why people experience these difficulties. For example it may be because someone has had a stroke, has a progressive neurological condition such as Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. They may also have Dementia or a chronic condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

We work with adults who may have one or more of the following difficulties and who have a Coventry GP:

  • Producing speech and using speech
  • Stammering/stuttering
  • Understanding language - spoken and/or written down by other people
  • Using language e.g. finding the right words to say, or write down
  • Voice problems e.g. a hoarse or croaky voice
  • Swallowing food and/or drinks and medications
     

How we help

We assess the person’s difficulties and work with them to set and meet realistic goals. We aim to empower the individual to better understand and manage their condition and the difficulties they may be experiencing with swallowing or communication. Where possible, we aim to help a person regain or maintain their communication and swallowing skills.
 

We may offer:

  • Therapy sessions
  • Written and verbal advice, information and strategies to help everyone involved understand and support the person's difficulties
  • Review sessions
  • Referrals on to other health care professionals
     

Who we work with

  • The individual who has a communication or swallowing difficulty
  • Their relatives or carers
  • Care home staff
  • Other health care professionals e.g. GP, Dietician, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Psychology
     

Where we work

  • Individual’s homes
  • Nursing and Residential homes
  • City of Coventry Health Centre

Who we work with

Communication

We work with adults (18+) with a Coventry GP who are experiencing communication difficulties. This could include difficulty understanding what other people say, difficulty putting sounds together to produce words and sentences, difficulty finding the correct words or difficulty speaking clearly. These difficulties occur for many different reasons, including due to neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s or dementia, or because of a stroke or brain injury. We support individuals with communication needs, their families/friends and carers to develop strategies for effective communication. If appropriate, we may also provide direct therapy.
 

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

We work with adults (18+) with a Coventry GP who use or need Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). AAC refers to any method of communication that does not rely on speaking, including paper-based systems such as Communication Books or more high-tech systems such as electronic speech devices. People use AAC because they find it difficult to communicate verbally. This could be due to a stroke or brain injury, a progressive condition such as Motor Neurone Disease or a developmental condition like Cerebral Palsy. We work closely with individuals, their families and carers to find the most appropriate method of AAC. This could involve onward referral to specialist agencies if needed.
 

Dysfluency

We work with young people (17+) and adults with a Coventry GP who have difficulty producing words and sentences fluently. People may have been dysfluent since childhood, or may have developed dysfluency as a result of a brain injury or neurological condition. There are two main types of dysfluency: stammering (also known as stuttering) and cluttering; some people may stammer and clutter. Dysfluency can cause significant frustration and affect people’s work and social lives. Although we cannot cure dysfluency, we can provide therapy and strategies to support people to manage their dysfluency and minimise its impact on their lives.
 

Dysphagia

We work with adults (18+) with a Coventry GP who have difficulties with their swallowing.  Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulties with swallowing.  Some people have difficulties swallowing food, liquids and/or medications. This is often due to weak, or dysfunctional nerves and muscles involved in swallowing. 

 

If a person has difficulty with their swallowing, it may mean they are not able to eat and drink comfortably or safely as food/ drink could be going into their lungs. This could lead to them developing a chest infection.

 

We support people with swallowing difficulties by assessing their swallowing and providing information and advice to try and make them as safe and comfortable as possible when eating or drinking. This may mean we advise them to have certain types of foods or drinks to enable them to swallow more effectively and safely or we may give them compensatory strategies to use when swallowing.

 

Voice

We also provide support for adults (18+) with a Coventry GP who have problems with their voice. They may be experiencing hoarseness, a loss of voice, alteration in pitch or ongoing discomfort in the throat. We assess the specific difficulty they are experiencing and will aim to provide exercises, information and advice to improve voice or throat symptoms.

 

All referrals for voice must be seen by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor before they come to our service.

Your Appointment

What will happen at my first appointment?

What happens at your first appointment depends on whether we are seeing you for communication or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Your first appointment usually lasts up to one hour. Depending on your needs, we may ask you to come to our clinic or we may visit you at home.

We may feel it is necessary to refer you to another service but we will always get your consent before doing this. We will always involve you in deciding on a management plan and you are free to leave or to ask questions at any point during your appointment.
 

First communication appointment

  • We will ask you some general questions about your health. We will talk to you about the communication difficulties you’ve been having and the effect they have on your day-to-day life.
  • We will then assess your communication so we can find out what your individual strengths and needs are, and how best to support you. We can assess your communication in several different ways and we will discuss those with you at your appointment. At the end of the assessment, we will explain to you what we’ve found.
  • We will then discuss how we can best support you. We may suggest compensatory strategies or other specialist input such as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). We may also suggest direct therapy, which requires active and consistent patient engagement. If this is needed, we will support you to carry out your therapy activities independently.
  • We may offer you a follow up appointment if we feel it is necessary. These appointments may be in-person or by phone, depending on what’s most appropriate for you.
     

First swallowing appointment

  • We will start by asking you some general questions about your health. We will talk to you about the swallowing difficulties you’ve been having and the effect they have on your day-to-day life.
  • We may ask you to make some movements with your lips, tongue and face, to see how your muscles move.
  • We will observe you eating and drinking. While you’re swallowing, we may use a stethoscope to listen to your swallow, or palpate (touch) your throat to feel how you swallow.
  • Depending on what we see, we may ask you to try some different textures of food and fluids. At the end of the assessment, we will explain to you what we’ve found.
  • We will then discuss how we can best support you. We may suggest you try modifying your diet or fluid consistencies, to make them easier and safer for you to swallow. We may also suggest individual therapy sessions or give compensatory strategies,  e.g. altering your head position, for you to try.
  • Sometimes we are unable to gain a clear picture of a person’s swallowing from our assessment. If this happens, we may suggest specialised instrumental assessment. If we feel this would be beneficial for you, we will tell you and explain what it involves.
  • We may offer you a follow up appointment if we feel it is necessary. These appointments may be in-person or by phone, depending on what’s most appropriate for you.

Referrals

  • For swallowing and voice input, a person must be referred by a health professional.
  • For all other communication input e.g. support with speech, language and  dysfluency, an individual may self-refer.
  • Please contact our service on 02476 237 027 for further information and advice.