COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place at The Walton Centre

Restrictions remain in place across the NHS in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety measures in place over the 18 months therefore remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice.

Due to the increased transmission risk posed by the Omicron variant, visiting has been suspended within The Walton Centre except for exceptional circumstances.

Speech and Language Therapy

Service contact information

Rehab team: 0151 556 3207

Service detail

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) work across the acute and rehab inpatient settings in the management of patients with both communication and swallowing disorders.

Communication impairments that SLTs help to diagnose include difficulties in expressing or understanding spoken or written language, difficulties in producing speech due to weakness in the speech muscles, voice difficulties, and social communication difficulties. Once identified, SLTs may work 1:1 with a patient targeting their areas of difficult. They also work extensively with a patient’s family members in order to support them to communicate effectively with their loved one. SLTs also help to identify alternative or augmentative means of communication (AAC) that may be necessary in order to help a patient express their wants and needs (this might include paper-based or hi-tech devices).

In the rehab setting, SLTs often organise group-based therapy sessions where patients can practise their communication skills in an informal and engaging social setting.

Across settings, SLTs work closely with other members of the multidisciplinary team, often completing joint sessions to encourage integrated and seamless care, ensuring that the patient’s holistic needs are taken into account.

SLTs are also responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of swallowing disorders (dysphagia). Across settings, this often involves bedside assessment of a patient’s swallowing abilities with close working with the medical and dietetics team to ensure safety of oral intake. SLTs may undertake further instrumental assessment of swallowing if required. Intervention for swallowing impairments might include exercises targeting the strength and skill of the swallow muscles or diet and fluid modification. 

On the critical care and hyper-acute rehab wards, SLTs are also involved in the management of tracheostomies, working closely with the medical team and respiratory physiotherapists to monitor the secretion management and swallowing abilities of patients, and supporting assessment of suitability for weaning.

SLTs are also present in some of the outpatient clinics and will see patients with newly diagnosed motor neurone disease or with neuromuscular disease as part of the multidisciplinary services. Further information about these clinics may be found on The Walton Centre website.

Getting here

Rehab Team: Complex Rehab Unit, Sid Watkins Building

Acute Team: Main Building

Sid Watkins Building

Sid Watkins Building

This building hosts our Complex Rehabilitation Unit, some outpatients services, pain management services, corporate services and more.

Address

Lower Lane,Liverpool, L9 7BB

Directions and map

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is not responsible for third-party sites or content.

The Walton Centre - Main Hospital Building

The Walton Centre Main Building

This building hosts many of our in-patient services, including wards and theatres, and some outpatients services.

Address

Lower Lane, Liverpool, L9 7LJ

Directions and map

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is not responsible for third-party sites or content.

Patient leaflets

EMG Guided Therapy for Swallowing

The equipment you will be using with the team uses surface electromyography (EMG) to provide you with feedback about your swallow.

Level 1 thickened fluids (slightly thick)

Your Speech and Language Therapist has assessed your swallow function and has recommended that you thicken your drinks to make your swallow safer.

Level 2 thickened fluids (mildly thick)

Your Speech and Language Therapist has assessed your swallow function and has recommended that you thicken your drinks to make your swallow safer.

Level 3 thickened fluids (moderately thick)

Your Speech and Language Therapist has assessed your swallow function and has recommended that you thicken your drinks to make your swallow safer.

Level 4 thickened fluids (extremely thick)

Your Speech and Language Therapist has assessed your swallow function and has recommended that you thicken your drinks to make your swallow safer.

What is Cognitive Communication Disorder?

Communication is a complex process which involves many thinking, social and conversation skills – all of these skills work together to help us communicate effectively with the world around us.

What is Dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a speech difficulty leading to weakness or difficulty moving the muscles used for speech. 

What is Dysphasia?

Dysphasia (or aphasia) is the general term used to describe a difficulty with language.

What is Dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia is a speech difficulty leading to difficulties with coordinating and carrying out planned movements of the muscles used in speech. 

View all related Patient leaflets

Page last updated: 22 July 2021