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Children's Speech and Language Therapy

Service operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Please refer as normal.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information for children, young people and families

We understand that you might be worried about coronavirus – also known as COVID-19 – particularly if your child has a long-term health condition.

This information leaflet sets out our advice and the action the Trust is taking to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

The SLT service is currently operating a reduced level of service while we focus on recovery from the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. Between April and July 20 many SLT staff were redeployed to work on the hospital wards and we had to close down all but essential SLT services. Since August 20 we have prioritised the opening of selected parts of the service for children at the highest risk and with the highest clinical need, but other parts of the service remain closed, see below. We anticipate we will remain in this recovery period until early January 2021 when we hope to open-up the remaining closed services.

Children currently accessing assessment and/or treatment :

  • Children referred for an eating, drinking & swallowing assessment who have been triaged as High Risk
  • Children identified as requiring the setting up of an Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) system in order to communicate basic needs
  • Children with severe Developmental Language Disorders (DLD) attending Speech Language Resource Bases (SLRBs)
  • Children on open but paused therapy packages with severe Developmental Language Disorders (DLD), severe Speech Sound Disorders (SSD) and severe stammering difficulties attending community settings and mainstream schools
  • Children attending special schools who need support with transition to adult services
  • Pre-school children with complex communication difficulties (on SEND pathway) waiting for their follow-up appointment
  • Children referred for an EHCP assessment


Children currently NOT accessing assessment and/or treatment:

  • Children with speech, language and communication difficulties referred and waiting for an assessment who are pre-school, attending nursery, a mainstream or special school setting
  • Children referred for an eating and drinking assessment who have been triaged as Routine Risk
  • Children who have had an assessment from the community clinics team and are waiting for their treatment to start

During this recovery period which we anticipate will run until January 21, we are predominantly offering video and telephone consultations to the children and families on our caseloads. We are actively contacting other professionals and Education colleagues in schools and nurseries to ensure they are linked into the therapy plan and they are welcome to join the video consultations.

We are offering some ad-hoc face to face appointments to families in our covid secure community clinic settings if this is needed to progress the clinical care. We are currently not offering visits to mainstream schools but will review this in January 21 as we move out of the recovery period.

We are seeing a small number of children with complex eating and drinking difficulties routinely for face to face appointments at home when clinical risk is high and when video/telephone consultations cannot be effective.

We are re-starting regular therapy in the 3 Speech Language Resource Bases in the city in September, following confirmation of Covid secure assessments which will enable safe work environments for staff based on site. A limited service into special schools will also be offered, where children are identified as falling into the highest clinical need groups identified above and when video/telephone consultations cannot be effective.

We provide evidence based specialist support to children (0-19) with a range of specific speech, language and communication difficulties and those with difficulties swallowing, eating and drinking.

Waiting times

The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service is experiencing high demand, which means there are long waiting times for appointments. We recognise that this information may be concerning and want you to know we are working actively with Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (Health Commissioners of the service) and the Local Authority on long-term solutions so that children can access support in a more reasonable timescale. This situation has worsened during the Covid19 pandemic when many services were closed down, which has led to longer waiting times.

At present, there are waits of several months for an initial assessment. However those with needs that pose the greatest risk to their health, such as eating and drinking difficulties, are seen much sooner.

For children who meet the threshold for treatment, there is a second wait for treatment to start. We have been tackling waits at this point in the pathway by targeting two groups of children first, where we believe their needs most require the specific skills of a Speech and Language Therapist. These children have difficulties with speech sounds or stammering. We were aiming to reduce the wait from referral to start of treatment for those children to 30 weeks however as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic we have not achieved this target and waiting times are rising.

We had also been working hard to prevent waiting times for other children, who mostly have difficulties developing language, from growing any longer and were on target with this and holding the longest wait at 120 weeks with an average wait of approx 90 weeks. However as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic we have not maintained this target and waiting times are rising.

NEW ADVICE LINE NUMBER OPEN!

In response to the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 we have fast-tracked our plans for a Speech and Language Therapy Advice Line - NOW OPEN!!

Are you the parent/carer of a child or young person with speech, language or communication needs and/or eating, drinking and swallowing concerns?

Are you a professional or member of school staff/children’s workforce involved with supporting children and young people with speech language communication needs and/or eating and drinking concerns?

You can contact the Speech and Language Therapy Team for advice, strategies and support.

The phone line is open 24 hours a day and a short message can be left. Qualified Speech and Language Therapists are available to respond to messages on:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 4pm

They will be able to provide advice, information and resources.

The child/ young person you are calling about must be:

  • aged 0-18 years (or up to 19 only if in full-time special school education)
  •  registered with a Birmingham GP or attending a Birmingham School.

 

BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY TEAM ADVICE LINE NUMBER:  0121 466 6231 

Further Information                  Contact Us

COVID-19 Response:  Speech and Language Therapy Advice Line

You can contact the Speech and language Therapy Team for therapy advice, strategies and support for parents / carers, schools and other professionals in relation to a child’s / young person’s communication skills or eating, drinking and swallowing concerns.  The phone line will be open Mon - Fri from 9am – 4pm

The child or young person must be:

•Aged 0-18 years (up to 19, only if in full-time special school education)

•Registered with a Birmingham GP or attending a Birmingham School

Phone Number: 0121 466 6231



Speech and Language Therapy Services 

Children and Families Division
Second Floor – Old Hall, Moseley Hall Hospital 
Alcester Road, Moseley
Birmingham B13 8JL
Please do not send referrals to this address.

For any queries please phone our admin team on: 0121 466 3370

Click here to email us  - please do not send referrals to this email address.

 
 
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