Speech & Language Therapy Department
Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) work with a wide variety of people who experience difficulties in communication, voice and swallowing. The main people who avail of the service in Beaumont Hospital are those who have communication, voice and/or swallowing impairments associated with conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumour, neurological conditions (i.e. Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease), head & neck cancer, voice disorders and deafness.
In working with such individuals, the Speech & Language Therapist takes into consideration the medical, physical, psychological, social and cultural factors together with other relevant details that may contribute to the experience of disability. The very nature of communication demands that SLTs work in partnership with the individual concerned and where appropriate, his/her relatives, close friends, colleagues and others with whom he/she comes in contact. In addition, a central part of our work is to promote and to be actively involved in making Beaumont Hospital accessible for people with communication disability.
The main objectives of the SLT service are as follows:
- To work within an interdisciplinary framework.
- Using a variety of methods to assess and diagnose communication, voice and swallowing difficulties of those people referred to the service and which the service has the necessary skills to provide.
- To provide a range of therapy models to meet individual needs as well as to provide advice and counselling related to communication and swallowing disability.
- In partnership with the individual concerned, to provide training for people in close contact with him/her (e.g. relatives, work colleagues, health care workers) with regard to ways to support and maximise communication and swallowing abilities.
- To promote and play an active role in making the environment, documents and interactions within the hospital accessible for people with communication disability.
- To promote, facilitate and support self-advocacy for people with communication disability.
- To contribute to the educational process of medical, nursing, other professions and non-clinical front-line staff with regard to communication, voice and swallowing impairments and with particular reference to the development of supported communication skills necessary when interacting with those with a specific difficulty in communication.
- To take a proactive role in the prevention of the development of conditions relating to communication, voice and swallowing.
Access to the Service
Only those people who have a Beaumont Hospital Medical Chart have access to the SLT service. There is no on-call service.
Both in and out patients are seen and can avail of the service by:
- Multidisciplinary team referral within the hospital for people who experience difficulties in communication, speech, language and voice associated with their medical condition.
- Consultant team referral within the hospital for people who experience difficulties in swallowing.
- A person who has already availed of the service may contact the service again within one year of their last SLT contact should they wish to do so.
Groups excluded from the service are those people who do not have a Beaumont Hospital Medical Chart, children who have a communication impairment associated with a congenital or developmental condition (excluding hearing loss) and adults with fluency disorders.
Core working hours are between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.
Telephone: +353 1 809 2956
Head of department - Ms. Anne Healy
Speech & Language Therapy Department
Beaumont Road, Dublin 9
Members of the SLT Therapy team are located in three main areas:
- The main SLT Department, which is situated on the ground floor in the Rehabilitation Department with Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.
- The SLTs who work on the Cochlear Implant team are based in the Cochlear Implant Department on the lower ground floor.
- SLT staff work on the St Josephs Hospital campus in the Day Hospital, the Care of the Elderly Rehab Unit (also based in St Josephs Hospital Raheny) and the Community Nursng Unit.
The Head of Department is Anne Healy.
Currently there is a complement of 20 whole time equivalent (WTE) SLTs and 1 WTE SLT Assistant. Within the available resources the department has developed a structure to include specialist positions in key areas of work which include Neurosurgery, Neurology, ENT, Care of the Elderly and Cochlear Implant.
Clinical Education of Students
The department provides clinical placements for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year SLT students attending TCD. In addition students attend the department from other universities within Ireland. Supervising SLTs have primary responsibility for completing the continuous assessment on these students and are members of the examining team for their final clinical examination.
The department is also actively involved in providing supervision of SLTs undergoing post-graduate education in specific areas (e.g. swallowing disorders, ENT Head & Neck Oncology, hearing impairment).