Speech and Language Therapy

We provide assessment, therapy and support for adults over 18 years of age with communication and/or swallowing problems. These difficulties may be due to:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Progressive Neurological Conditions
  • Stroke
  • Dementia (swallowing only)
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Other medical conditions

We also offer assessment and therapy for adults who have voice difficulties, or adults aged 19 and over who have a stammer.

Communication Difficulties

A Speech and Language Therapist will be able to assess your communication skills to identify any areas of difficulty with your communication and will advise you on the best way to help with these areas. They may recommend a period of therapy or suggest communication strategies to help you manage the difficulty.

For patients with communication problems, intervention may involve:

  • Improving understanding of spoken and written language
  • Improving production of spoken and written words
  • Improving the intelligibility of speech
  • Improving the fluency of speech  
  • Improving voice quality
  • Improving overall ability to communicate with others
  • Providing alternative means of communication, for example, through the use of communication aids. This may be supported by other specialist services including the Electronic Assisted Technology Services (EATS).

At present, we are unable to offer communication therapy for adults with communication difficulties as a result of Dementia.

Swallowing Difficulties

Swallowing difficulties may occur when there are changes to the movement or coordination of muscles of the face, mouth or throat. This may lead to food and drink ‘going the wrong way.’ If this happens, you may cough, throat clear, have a wet gurgly voice or your breathing may change. Sometimes you may feel that food and drink gets stuck in the mouth or throat when swallowing.

Sometimes swallowing difficulties can lead to repeated chest infections, inability to take enough food/drink or choking. 

For patients with swallowing difficulties, intervention may be aimed at:

  • Improving swallowing safety by reducing risks of food and drink ‘going the wrong way’ during meals. This may be through using strategies when swallowing, or modifying the consistency of your food and drinks.
  • Strengthening the muscles involved in swallowing through direct exercises where appropriate.

Referrals to our Service

Adults with swallowing problems

Referrals for swallowing assessments must be made in writing. We accept referrals from GPs, Hospital Consultants, Nurses and other Allied Health Professionals. Care and Nursing homes are required to contact the GP for referral.

Adults with voice difficulties

All individuals who wish to be seen for a voice assessment must initially be seen by the Ear, Nose and Throat Department. Referral to the Ear, Nose and Throat Department can be arranged by your GP if appropriate. We are unable to offer an appointment for voice assessment without information from the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist with details of the appearance and function of your voice box. Without this information, we are unable to develop a therapy programme to support your difficulties.

Adults with communication difficulties can refer themselves directly to our service by contacting our department. Adults with voice problems must be seen by an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist before we are able to offer an appointment in our service. 

You may be contacted before an appointment is offered for assessment to discuss any specific requirements. An appointment time, date and location would then be confirmed by telephone and/or by letter.

Service Structure

Our service provides assessment and therapy for adults with communication and swallowing difficulties in various settings.

  • During their inpatient admission to Hospital.
  • In outpatient clinics based in the Acute and Community Hospitals within Lincolnshire. Transport may be available for hospital based clinics where patients are unable to use public transport.
  • In community clinics and in GP practices.
  • Where clinically appropriate we may be able to provide home visits to see patients in their own homes, or to visit patients at Nursing and Residential Care Homes.

Waiting Times for Our Service

Referrals to our service are prioritised based on urgency and risks to the patient.

Service Operating Times

  The service operates Monday to Friday between the core hours of 08.30- 16.30

Contact us

For information or referrals, please contact us at:
Adult Speech and Language Therapy Services
Bourne Health Clinic
St Gilberts Road
Bourne
PE10 9XA

 Telephone:  01778 426149

  Fax:  01778 426853

Email: LHNT.SLT@nhs.net