SLT - what to expect

What can I expect on my first appointment?

The nature of your first appointment will depend on your reason for referral to us. You may have been referred for a swallowing assessment, communication assessment, or for both.

  • Your initial appointment will be organised via phone and/or letter.
  • This first appointment may take up to one hour.
  • Your first appointment may be in a Community Clinic or Hospital Outpatient Department. Where necessary, the service will provide home visits for patients who are unable to travel to clinic.
  • You are welcome to have a friend or family member present with you during your assessment if you think that this would help.
  • During this appointment, the Speech and Language Therapist will ask you some questions about your medical history and the difficulties you are having.
  • If you have communication difficulties, you may be asked to complete some assessment tasks so the Speech and Language Therapist can see what help you may need.
  • If you have swallowing difficulties, the Therapist may ask you to have something to eat or drink so they can assess your swallowing.  You do not need to fast for this assessment.
  • There will be plenty of time for you to ask questions.

Once you have been seen, the Speech and Language Therapist will discuss what advice or support might be needed to manage your communication or swallowing difficulties. You will then both agree on a management plan. The therapist will also send a written report to the person who referred you to the service explaining the outcome of the assessment.

Where appropriate, you will be offered a period of Speech and Language Therapy to work on your communication or to support you with your swallowing difficulties. Alternatively, if therapy is not appropriate, you may be given advice and discharged from the service, and/ or referred on to another service

Cancelling or changing appointments

If you need to change or cancel an appointment please tell us as soon as possible so that we can offer your appointment to another person. Please note, if you fail to attend your appointment without letting us know, you may be discharged from the service without an assessment.

Other sources of information:

Stroke Associationwww.stroke.org.uk0303 3033 100
Headway – Brain Injury Associationwww.headway.org.uk0808 800 2244
Multiple Sclerosis Societywww.mssociety.org.uk0808 800 8000
Parkinson’s UKwww.parkinsons.org.uk0808 800 0303
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Associationwww.pspassociation.org.uk0300 0110 122
Motor Neurone Disease Associationwww.mndassociation.org01604 250 505
Alzheimer’s Societywww.alzheimers.org.uk0300 222 1122
Macmillan Cancer Supportwww.macmillan.org.uk0808 808 0000
British Stammering Associationwww.stammering.org020 8983 1003
British Voice Associationwww.britishvoiceassociation.org.uk0300 123 2773
Dysphagiawww.dysphagia.org.uk01928 533 533
Dysphagiawww.nhs.uk/conditions/Dysphagia/Pages/definition.aspx 
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapistswww.rcslt.org020 7378 1200
Association of Speech and Language Therapistswww.helpwithtalking.com01494 488 306
Health and Care Professions Councilwww.hpc-uk.org0300 500 6184