Adult Acquired Speech and Language Therapy
Colchester General Hospital
Tel: 01206 742560
Fax: 01206 742333
Working Hours: Monday-Friday 08.30am-16.30pm
The Adult Acquired Speech and Language Therapy Team at Colchester General Hospital is made up of a number of highly skilled Speech and Language Therapists. The therapists here have a range of specialisms including stroke, acute and degenerative illnesses, head and neck cancer and voice.
The team of Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are registered Allied Health Professionals with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They provide life-enhancing treatment and support for adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.
At Colchester General Hospital, specialist SLTs provide inpatient and outpatient services. They work with adults who have acquired communication and swallowing difficulties.
The SLTs work across the hospital wards as part of the wider multidisciplinary team, supporting a range of individuals with speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties resulting from any of the following:
The Stroke Unit
The SLTs work as a vital part of the stroke multidisciplinary team, with a focus on managing communication and swallowing difficulties after acute stroke.
Communication difficulties can arise after stroke and can affect all modalities of communication including understanding, speaking, reading and writing. This may be due to damage to the language centres of the brain, or the areas responsible for movement or control of the lips, tongue, mouth, voice or breathing systems.
Swallowing after a stroke may be impaired in several ways:
Head and Neck Cancer
Individuals with head and neck cancer are seen by specialist SLTs, as either inpatients or outpatients. The specialist SLTs are able to assess and manage speech, voice and swallowing difficulties at different stages in their pathway.
The Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) team accept consultant-led referrals for adults with voice disorders.
Individuals may present with aphonia, a complete absence of voice, or dysphonia. Dysphonia refers to voice changes, characterised by inconsistent or constant abnormality of pitch, volume, resonance and/or quality, which can vary in their severity, and may be inappropriate for an individual's age, gender or culture.
The SLTs are members of a specialist multidisciplinary team, including Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants, who together assess, diagnose and treat these patients.
Inpatients and outpatients may be referred for various reasons to the SALT team for a videofluoroscopy; an x-ray which looks at the how the swallow works. This type of investigation allows specialist SLTs in the team to analyse swallowing difficulties in the oral and pharyngeal stages of the swallow in more detail.
Based on the referral information and the patient's condition, the SALT team can provide:
Speech and Language Therapist's work closely with various professionals in multidisciplinary teams made up of:
Joint working is also promoted with other Speech and Language Therapy teams including the Community Adult Acquired Speech and Language Therapy Team and Adult Learning Disability Speech and Language Therapy Team, based in Colchester.
The SALT team are able to support patients to improve their ability to participate in decision making, communication and eating and drinking. SLTs enable patients, family and carers to live and work to their maximum ability.