Improving Transitions across SLT Services in [Anonymised HB] for Adults with Long-Term, Speech, Language, Swallowing or Communication (SLSC) Needs : a Qualitative Study of SLTs' and Service Users' Views : Moving between SLT Teams

McCartney, Elspeth and Muir, Margaret (2015) Improving Transitions across SLT Services in [Anonymised HB] for Adults with Long-Term, Speech, Language, Swallowing or Communication (SLSC) Needs : a Qualitative Study of SLTs' and Service Users' Views : Moving between SLT Teams. [Report]

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    Abstract

    Adults with long-term speech, language, swallowing or communication (SLSC) needs are sometimes known to SLT services from an early age and throughout their adult life, accessing SLT services at various periods, but SLSC needs can also arise later in life. Adults may require to access SLT services to develop their personal communication skills and/or to secure alternative and augmentative communication support, a clear and facilitative communication environment, and on-going support with eating and swallowing. The role of the SLT is often to advise others (such as volunteers, family and carers, health-care and other staff) on appropriate communication and safe swallowing approaches. SLT services in NHS [Anonymised HB] (NHS [HB]) are offered from around 37 locations, managed within community and hospital, adult and paediatric services. Specialist SLTs work in teams serving specified populations. As health needs alter, adults with long-term SLSC needs often move across SLT teams and effective procedures are needed to facilitate this process. This project is concerned with the care of adults with long-term SLSC needs as they move across SLT team boundaries. The project aimed to identify factors that affect such transitions positively and negatively, from the perspectives of SLTs and service users. It also aimed to provide a model of transfer that would be effective across NHS [HB] SLT structures. SLT services in [Anonymised HB] are keen to find ways to smooth and support the service user’s journey across SLT teams, and to build appropriate care pathways. This project asked service users and SLTs to identify factors that tend to facilitate or impede transitions. It then suggests ways in which transitions could be further improved, and provides a model of good practice for transitions.