Coronavirus - Important Referral Information
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we will review all incoming referrals to the service, and only patients who are deemed as a clinical priority will be seen at this time. We would ask all referrers to contact us if they need to highlight a patient who requires an emergency assessment or review.
AAC West, as one of 15 national specialised services, is able to carry our Augmentative and Alternative Assessments. We receive funding from NHS England to meet the needs of both children and adults in the South West of England.
Who can refer?
Referrals to AAC West will only be accepted from speech and language therapists working with people with communication difficulties.
If you do not have a speech and language therapist involved with your care, then please contact your GP who can refer you to your local service.
Please note we do not accept referrals from Independant Therapists; you must be employed by a CCG or Statutory Body to make a referral.
How do I refer?
All referrals should be made using the appropriate referral form which must be fully completed, please ensure they are completed electronically and not by hand. They should also be accompanied by a short video and preferably by any relevant and current reports. Please note that if you are re-referring your patient, but they have not been seen by our service for more than 3 years please complete the full referral form to give us more up to date information to aid our assessment.
If mounting only is required please use the following referral form:
Please note: we are unable to process any referrals that do not have the GP details or patients NHS number or are hand written. Any referrals received without these details will be rejected.
What about funding?
People who meet the criteria for a specialist assessment will have their communication aid assessment and any equipment identified at the end of the assessment funded by BCAS.
To find out more about the criteria visit https://communicationmatters.org.uk/assessment-routes/
Our service is nationally commissioned by NHS England, and the service specification can also be seen at https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/03/guid-comms-aac.pdf
AAC West is currently looking for volunteers to become part of a valuable research project regarding the experiences of AAC. We are supporting Katherine Broomfield a Speech and Lanuage Therapist from Gloucester by inviting people who are on our waiting list to participate in the project. People will be invited to take part in a series of 5 interviews: 1) before they have an assessment at BCAS, 2) After the assessment, 3) after receipt of equipment and at 4) 6 months and 5) 12 months after receipt of equipment. Only people over 12 years old who have capacity to consent to their involvement will be sent a participant information pack and invitation.
If you are about to make a referral to AAC West, please could you identify any patients that may be interested in being involved in the project. You will just need to share the information with BCAS and confirm that they are happy for us to share their contact details with Katherine. The project will provide an opportunity for them to share their experience, practise using AAC, and will help us to learn more about what is important to the people we serve.