Speech and Language Therapy

Who is the service for?

The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service assess, diagnose and treat adults suspected of having a swallowing and/or communication impairment. The service accepts referrals from Pennine Acute Hospital wards for in patients and referrals from Pennine Acute Hospital consultants for outpatients. The service based at North Manchester General Hospital also provides a service to the community of North Manchester and therefore accepts referrals from GPs and other professionals to see patients in a domiciliary setting.

What does the service provide?

The Speech and Language Therapy department provides a service to patients with swallowing and/or communication difficulties including assessments for capacity if the patient has communication impairment. Qualified and registered Speech and Language Therapists deliver the service in accordance with their professional body the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council. Across the Trust, there are Speech and Language Therapists who specialise in stroke rehabilitation, swallowing difficulties, care of people who have had head and neck surgery, neuro-rehabilitation, elderly care, neurological conditions, e.g. Parkinson’s disease and voice disorders.

Intervention usually requires in-depth assessment of the difficulty and may include other investigations, such as a videofluoroscopy (video swallow x-ray) to assess swallowing difficulties. The results will be discussed with the patient and / or carer and medical team and a management plan decided upon. This may involve advice and simple strategies to improve communication, it may mean changing the consistency of the food and fluids taken or it may mean a therapy programme where exercises and techniques are practiced by the patient independently or perhaps with the support of an SLT assistant.

Patients with a voice problem (e.g. hoarseness, voice loss) are seen initially in the Joint Voice Clinic at NMGH which is staffed by a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and an ENT Consultant. This ensures that the correct diagnosis is made and therefore the correct treatment identified.

Patients who have had a laryngectomy operation and use a valve will need to access the valve drop in clinic when they are having difficulties. The SLT will identify the cause of the problems and manage the issues with the support of the ENT team where necessary. Laryngectomy patients are able to use the SLT text phone to keep in touch with the service, book into the clinic etc. The number is given to all new laryngectomy patients.

Outpatient appointments for Head and neck cancer are offered on the NMGH site and outpatient appointments for swallowing difficulties are offered on the NMGH and ROH sites.

Who will patients meet?

A patient may see SLTs and SLT assistants whilst under the care of the SLT dept.

When is the service available?

The Speech and Language Therapy service is available Monday – Friday between the hours of 08:30 – 16:30.

Where is the service provided?

Fairfield General Hospital – The dept. is based in Fairfield House, Ground Floor, Room 1.42 however patients are seen on the wards only. The building is not accessible without authorisation.

Royal Oldham Hospital – Speech and Language Therapy Department. First Floor ‘J’ Block. If entering via the main entrance, you need to use the link corridor over the bridge past the canteen and then use the stairs or lift to the floor below.  Patients are seen on the wards or in the SLT department.

North Manchester General Hospital – Speech and Language Therapy Department, Ground Floor, between E and F block in the older part of the building. Enter via the ‘quad ‘entrance turn left and it is on your right. Patients are seen on the wards and in the Department.

The valve drop in clinic, the joint voice clinic and the outpatient voice SLT appointments all take place in ENT outpatients B which is on the first floor if you enter via the main entrance at the front of the hospital.

Floyd Unit - An SLT service is provided to inpatients on the rehabilitation unit.

Department contact details

Fairfield General Hospital – 0161 918 8570. Secretary Rebecca Baxter-Hollows.

Royal Oldham Hospital – 0161 627 8971 Secretary Danuta Barker.

North Manchester General Hospital– 0161 720 2232 Secretary Elaine Lloyd.

Key staff/consultants

Sue McCormick – Professional Manager 

0161 720 2232  sue.mccormick@pat.nhs.uk

Michelle McCormack – Team Lead, Fairfield General Hospital

michele.mccormack@pat.nhs.uk

Catherine Davies – Team Lead, The Royal Oldham Hospital

catherine.davies@pat.nhs.uk

John DiSiena – Team Lead, North Manchester General Hospital & North Manchester Community 

john.disiena@pat.nhs.uk