Improving services for people with speech, language and communication needs

Published: 6 Jun 2014

Author: Raman Kaur
Improving services for people with speech, language and communication needs

Raman Kaur, from Wolverhampton, is a Speech and Language Therapist working with children and students for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. She has just returned from a five-week trip to Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

20% of the UK population may experience difficulties in communication at some point in their lives*. Raman’s Fellowship enabled her to learn about innovative speech and language therapy (SLT) student placements and bring back the good practice to Birmingham. She focused on SLT clinical placements working to support children with speech, language and communication needs in universal and targeted areas of service delivery.

In Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, SLT students are on placement with both adult and child populations in a range of areas, including those with high levels of social deprivation and where there are adults and children with communication needs from multicultural and bilingual backgrounds.  Placements may also take place in multidisciplinary settings where there is scope for inter-professional learning.

Raman has also been investigating the COMPASS tool, a behavioural observation-based assessment tool which measures SLT student competencies whilst they are on their clinical placements.

Raman is now reflecting on the opportunity that this Fellowship has afforded and is looking forward to working with colleagues and partners to see how this good practice and evidence base gained can be transferred to Birmingham and the UK.

She said: “This was a really exciting opportunity because there are only around 5 student coordinators in the UK, therefore opportunities for supervision and continuing professional development specific to this role are difficult. I learnt about group placement models, placement models in areas of deprivation, the difference between the role of a ‘clinical educator’ and a ‘field supervisor’. All of which can be transferred to shape practice here in the UK.”

Raman is also keen to continue to investigate and research with colleagues at University Of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand where links have now been made on “depth and breadth” models of student placement. This project will be starting with Birmingham hosting 2 SLT students from New Zealand who will experience a placement model, and clinical educators from Birmingham SLT services who will be able to practically learn about the COMPASS model of assessment in turn.

*Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Contact: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

We have formed a new three year partnership with The Burdett Trust for Nursing who will fund five Fellowships a year to support a three year project from 2014-2016 to improve the health and well-being of patients, a new and key element of our Medicine and Health category. The Burdett Trust makes grants in support of nurse-led projects, using its funds to empower nurses and make significant improvements to the patient care environment. Nurses, midwives and the allied health professions make up the majority of the healthcare workforce and play a pivotal role in direct care to patients.