About our service for adults

Our therapists, practitioners and assistants work in the Derby hospitals, in community hospitals across the county and in some mental health settings. We also work with people in their homes, in care homes and in other community locations.

We work with adults who have:

  • communication difficulties arising from neurological conditions (such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, dementia etc.)
  • eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties arising from neurological conditions
  • stammering

Video consultation

Many patients have found video consultations more convenient during Covid. Where video consultation works well, and patients are happy with it, we will continue to use this where we can. This will depend on the clinical needs we are working on.

Patient initiated follow up

The NHS is trying to be more responsive to patients.  To help us meet patients’ needs at the right time, we are offering more patient initiated follow up. This means patients/carers can contact us when they need the next step, rather than us trying to predict when this might be. This will help us to give help when it is most needed. We will of course still offer planned follow up where this is clinically necessary.

Is a referral needed?

We cannot help patients with:
  • Vomiting and sickness unrelated to dysphagia. Please refer to GP.
  • Problems with taking tablets only. Please consult pharmacist.
  • Problems with small appetite or refusing to eat and drink. Please consult dietitian.
  • Problems with tube feeding or patients who need feeding tube insertion. Please refer to GP or gastrostomy nurse.

We can help patients with:

  • Frequent coughing or choking specifically when eating or drinking.
  • Recurrent chest infections/pneumonia where aspiration is the suspected cause.
  • Swallowing or communication problems associated with a neurological diagnosis such as MS, Parkinson’s disease, MND.
  • Communication or swallowing problems where advice has been followed but needs have changed, i.e. a significant improvement or deterioration.

To discuss a possible referral:

Please contact your local speech and language if you know who this is (see 'Contact Us' section to the right) or phone 0115 9512433.  

Or email: DCHST.SLTCentralReg@nhs.net

Our admin support workers will put you in touch with a therapist.

To make a community (including community hospital) referral:

  • Complete the adult community referral form.
  • Click 'submit' at the end. This will send it to our Central Registration Team who will add it to our system.
  • If you are the patient and you cannot access the internet, we can take a referral over the phone. Professionals must use the referral form.

To make a care home referral:

  • Complete the adult care home referral form including the Meal Time Observation Checklist.  We cannot accept the form without the completed checklist.
  • Email it to the speech and language therapy Central Registration Office (email details on the form).

To refer  an adult with learning disabilities:

For eating, drinking, swallowing or communication needs relating primarily to learning disabilities, please contact your local Learning Disability service.

North Derbyshire: phone 01246 565000 ext. 112 or visit DCHS Learning Disability Service

South Derbyshire: visit: DHCFT Disabilities Learning Service

What happens once we have accepted a referral:

We will look at the referral to decide whether the person needs an assessment and if so, how urgently.

After triage/assessment, we may provide advice or help carers support someone experiencing communication or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

If therapy is needed, we will agree a personalised therapy and discharge plan, according to the person’s changing needs.