Better Care

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. Please find the referral form on the right hand side of this page. The following information will guide you through our criteria and answer some frequently asked questions. 

Referral FAQs

Who can refer to the service?

We accept referrals for children who have a Birmingham GP. We run an open referral policy meaning that anyone can refer a child to the Children's Speech and Language Therapy service using the referral form.

Do you need parental consent?

We require parental consent for the referral. Consent includes allowing the Speech and Language Therapist to observe in setting (nursery or school), discuss progress with support staff around the child and share relevant information across health and Local Authority Children's Services staff as necessary.  Our eating, drinking and swallowing referrals no longer need medical consent. 

How will I know when you have received a referral for my child? 

When a referral is received by our Central Booking Service, you will receive an acknowledgment letter through the post indicating that we have received it and it is waiting to be screened. If the referral is not accepted, a letter will be sent within 4 weeks explaining the reason for rejection. 

children playing

Contact us

If you have any other questions or queries regarding referrals please contact:
Admin Tel: 0121 466 3370 

Please do not send referrals to this email address

Referral form

Click here to download the PDF version of the Children and Families referral form for all services.

Click here to download the Children and Families Referral form for all services (Word document version).

Who do you accept referrals for?

The SLT service works with children with specific Speech, Language and Communication needs and those with difficulties swallowing, eating and drinking. It operates a strict system of profiling the nature of the child’s difficulty, the impact on their life, risk factors involved as well as anticipated change in response to therapy and the amount of support in place for the child to make progress. At initial assessment, these factors are analysed and only the children who meet the commissioned threshold for the service will be seen for treatment.

The SLT service is working towards a balanced approach which involves working alongside partners in Health and Education. A system has been jointly agreed with our partners in Birmingham where a first level universal and targeted approach of advice, implementation and review of early strategies is taken before a referral to the SLT service is made. 

If you have concerns about the development of your child, or a child you are working with, please discuss this with your Health visitor, setting key worker and / or setting SENCo as appropriate. Together you can discuss how strategies can be put into place to support your child, evaluate their progress and refer if necessary.

Our SLT advice line is available for guidance on the support and strategies that can be used to develop communication skills.

Our Advice Line number is (0121) 466 6231 and our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.

You will also find useful resources on our webpages

When does the service not accept a referral?  

The SLT service does not accept referrals for the following: dribbling; written language difficulties (dyslexia); diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder outside of a multi-disciplinary team.

How long do I have to wait for an appointment?

The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy service is currently experiencing high demand which means there are long waiting times for appointments. At present, there are waits of several months for an initial assessment. For children who meet the threshold to access treatment, there is a second wait of several months. We recognise that this information may be concerning to you and we are actively working with the CCG Health Commissioners of the service and the Local Authority on long-term solutions so that children can access support in a more reasonable timescale.  

If you have referred your child for an eating, drinking and swallowing assessment please contact the SLT admin team on 0121 466 3370 (option 2) for an update on waiting times.

If your child attends a special school and has been referred, there are long waiting times of several months.

You can contact the admin team at any point to get an update on waiting times.


Do you accept referrals for children who speak other languages?

Yes we do, it’s very important that the referral indicates the child and parent/carers main languages so that we can book an interpreter if needed. If you have forgotten to mention this at that time, please phone Central Booking who can still request an interpreter up to 24 hours in advance of the appointment. The telephone number is 0121 683 2320.


My child attends a special school, how do I refer?

If you have concerns about your child’s communication or abut the safety of their eating and drinking, please speak to your child’s school who can put a referral in on your behalf. Click here to download the SLT special school leaflet


Where will my appointment be?

Referrals are processed centrally and families are invited to phone the Central Booking Service to make an appointment in a local health centre for initial assessment. As a city wide service we do require families to travel to one of our clinics and this will ensure your child is seen in a timely way.

What do I do if my child is ill on the day of the initial appointment?

Please phone our Central Booking Service as soon as possible to cancel the appointment; you will then be given the opportunity to rebook another appointment.