BSLTRU Annual Reports and Newsletters

Winter 2023/2024 Newsletter issue 10


BSLTRU and Underwood Trust Annual Lecture

Title: All Children Should be Seen AND Heard: The Importance of Communication so Children can Thrive

We are happy to announce that this year’s BSLTRU and Underwood Trust Annual Lecture is taking place on Tuesday, 30th of April at 4 pm, in the Lecture Theatre in L&D Building at Southmead Hospital. Our guest speaker this year will be Professor Sharynne McLeod from Charles Sturt University, Australia. Professor McLeod, is a speech-language pathologist and professor of speech and language acquisition at Charles Sturt University, Australia. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Society of New South Wales. She has received Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Life Membership of Speech Pathology Australia and has been an Australian Research Council Future Fellow.

If you would like to join us for the lecture, please go to to express your interest.


BSLTRU conference news

Our team attended the last ASHA (The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) conference in November 2023 presenting findings on the MISLToe project, led by the BSLTRU team. Our  presentation generated significant interest and was well received.


MISLToe SSD presentation at ASHA 2023


From left: Sam Burr, Joanne Cleland, Yvonne Wren


Celebrating success

Huge congratulations to our colleague Dr Katherine Broomfield, who was awarded her PhD in January 2024!

Kath Broomfield

Congratulations to our colleagues: Helen Stringer, Sam Burr, Joanne Cleland, Sam Harding and Yvonne Wren for being acknowledged with a certificate for the highest scoring abstract: Maximising the Impact of Speech Therapy for Children with Speech Sound Disorder – The MISLToe SSD Study: What we found out and its application to other clinical areas’ submitted to RCSLT Conference 2023.



Lectures/Events Attended

Prof Courtenay Norbury kick-started the 2024 Guest Lecture Series for Cardiff Met Speech Hearing and Research Group on Wednesday 24th January. Over 70 attendees joined in-person and online to learn about Interventions for Language across Neurodevelopmental conditions.

Courtenay Norbury’s lecture at Cardiff Met University


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Summer 2023 Newsletter issue 9


BSLTRU Underwood Trust ​

Annual Lecture 2023​

The BSLTRU Underwood Trust Annual Lecture, which took place in June 2023, was a big success and excellent opportunity for people to meet face to face after long break caused by the pandemic. A massive thank you to Prof Janice Murray for being our guest speaker. The audience was thrilled to hear about her team's research and to be engaged in the discussion after.

Atrium before the lecture
From left: Kath Broomfield, Janice Murray, Ralph Hammond, Yvonne Wren.
Janice Murray presenting

BSLTRU conference news

This summer our team is attending and presenting work around the globe, including the American cleft  Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA) (Raleigh, May 2023), the International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Association (ICPLA) (Salzburg, July) and the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP) (Auckland, August).

From left: Jamie Perry, Taylor Snodgrass and Lucy Southby at ACPA's 80th Annual Meeting, May 2023.

Current studies & project collaborations

Huge congratulations to the MISLToe_SSD team on the extension of the study to February 2024! Some of the international panel for the MISLToe_SSD study met at the International Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics Association (ICPLA) 2023 Congress in Salzburg, Austria in July. Joanne Cleland and Sam Burr also presented work from the study, which was well-received by the international audience.

From left: Sharynne McLeod, Karla Washington, Joanne Cleland, Kate Crowe, Yvonne Wren, Marit Claussen, Annette Fox-Boyer, Yolanda Holt, Sam Burr.

Coming soon from BSLTRU and CMU

The RCSLT are hosting their biannual conference online again this year on the 1-2 November. The conference promises "two days of opportunities for learning, professional development and networking". Colleagues at BSLTRU and Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) will be presenting their research at this event. 


The conference is exceptionally good value (£40 early bird rate for RCSLT members) making it very accessible. We are planning on extending this inclusive event by hosting opportunities to gather 'in-person' at Southmead (Weds 1st Nov) and Cardiff Llandaff campus (Thurs 2nd Nov). BSLTRU/CMU will make several rooms available over the 2 days so that colleagues registered for the conference can gather to watch and discuss parallel sessions. We hope this will provide an enhanced networking opportunity and give colleagues the chance to critically engage with the conference content. 


If you are interested in joining us for the conference, please email to express your interest


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Winter 2022/2023 Issue 8

Grant successes!

Projects for the Welsh Government


Dr Yvonne Wren, and Dr Sam Harding, together with Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Portsmouth are co-authors of a number of winning bids for the for the Welsh Government, including a £1.5 million project as part of the All Wales Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) Identification, Intervention and Evaluation Package.

Dr Yvonne Wren, and Dr Sam Harding together with Cardiff Metropolitan University are also authors of a winning bid with the Welsh Government to undertake a scoping review of technology used in the surveillance of children’s early speech, language and communication development.

Dr Yvonne Wren, and Kath Broomfield, together with colleagues from Cardiff Metropolitan University, are successful authors of a £29,625 bid to the Stroke Association to explore access to speech and language therapy for Welsh-speaking survivors of stroke

Dr Lucy Southby was successful in her application for funding to the charity CLEFT-Bridging the gap!



Invited to present!

NIHR-funded MISLToe_SSD Study featured at the HEE AHP Research Strategy Celebration Event

We are delighted to have been invited to present our work on the MISLToe_SSD study, led by Dr Yvonne Wren, at the HEE CAHPR AHP Research Strategy celebration event on 25th January.

The team's poster will be showcased among other invited presentations from inspiring, research-active AHPs across the UK.


Current studies & project collaborations

Dr Lydia Morgan, PI and Research Associate for Chin Tuck Against Resistance with Feedback: Swallowing Rehabilitation in Frail Older People (CTAR-SwiFt) - A feasibility study a Research for Patient Benefit.

This is a feasibility randomized, controlled study of two types of rehabilitation exercises using Chin Tuck against resistance to improve swallowing, eating and drinking, funded by the NIHR. BSLTRU are working with the main study site (Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust) to recruit patients with pneumonia to this study


 Katherine Broomfield is supporting the project Softly non-spoken: soft robotics as non-verbal communication aids by providing expertise in AAC and co-design with people who have communication difficulties.

This project is concerned with exploring whether soft robotics can be used as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to support non-verbal communication. It has been carried out as a collaboration between partners at University of Bristol, the Bristol Robotics Lab, BSLTRU and Air Giants (an industry partner).


Celebrating success


  Huge congratulations for our colleague Dr Sam Burr, who was awarded her PhD in November 2022!

Dr Sam Burr

Coming soon from BSLTRU


BSLTRU Summer Guest Lecture by Professor Janice Murray, Manchester Metropolitan University:

Janice Murray


“Clinical decision processes in augmentative and alternative communication: unpicking the elements that influence recommendations”

Follow us on Twitter to hear details about this when it becomes available.


If you would like to be added/removed from our newsletter list, please contact:

Tel: 0117 41 43951





BSLTRU Annual Reports and Newsletters