Speech and Language Therapy Service to Care Homes

The speech and language therapy department provides a domiciliary service to care home residents who are experiencing swallowing difficulties.

Who can refer?

  • GPs
  • Health professionals
  • Social care
  • Nursing or senior care staff within care homes

We accept referrals in writing or by email. You can find out more about referring a resident to the service by clicking here.

What happens once the referral is received?

The referral will be triaged by a speech and language therapist. They may telephone the care home or person who referred the resident for more information. If the referral does not contain enough information, it may be returned.

Triage allows us to ensure that speech and language therapy is the right service for the resident, and to prioritise their assessment depending on their condition and the symptoms they are experiencing.

What happens after the referral is triaged?

Managing feeding and swallowing difficulties is a team responsibility. The speech and language therapist may advise that staff in the care home can put in place some strategies to manage the resident’s difficulties. Advice for staff about safe feeding and managing some common problems can be found by clicking here.

If the referral is appropriate and requires a speech and language therapist to attend the care home, an assessment will be carried out and the speech and language therapist  will write a management plan. If a referral is inappropriate, you will usually be advised to refer to another service or given some advice on what to do next.

What happens if the resident requires modified consistencies?

Following an assessment, the speech and language therapist may advise that a resident requires modified consistencies for safer eating and drinking e.g. thickened fluids or changing the texture of their food. It is important that these recommendations are followed and monitored to ensure the person with swallowing difficulties eats and drinks as safely and enjoyably as possible.

More guidance on modified texture food and thickened fluids can be found by clicking here.

Further information

If, after reading the above and following the links, you have any further questions about the speech and language therapy service into care homes, please telephone the department on 01642 854497 or email: ste-tr.salt@nhs.net