Clear, practical advice on daily living equipment
The role of a speech and language therapist (SLT) is to assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. They may also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).
SLTs assist people who have the following types of problems: difficulty producing and using speech; difficulty understanding language; difficulty using language; difficulty with feeding, chewing or swallowing; a stammer; a voice problem (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).
SLTs work in a variety of settings, these include: hospitals (both inpatients and outpatients); community health centres; mainstream and special schools; assessment units and day centres; clients homes (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).
Most speech and language therapists work for the NHS. If you think you need to see a speech and language therapist ask your GP, district nurse, or health visitor for a referral. You can also refer yourself to your local speech and language therapy service. You do not have to wait for someone else to refer you. You can do this by phoning your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) and asking for the number for your local NHS speech and language therapy service (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2010).
All speech and language therapists are required to register with the Health Professions Council (HPC) regulatory body. The HPC is responsible for the conduct, performance and ethical behaviour of its registrants (Health Profession's Council, 2010). Speech and language therapists who do not meet the standards of practice, conduct and behaviour required by the HPC are removed ('struck off') from the HPC register (Health Profession's Council, 2010). Visit the HPC website to check the registration status of a speech and language therapist.