NHS 70 stories - Vicky's pride in Bristol Communications Aid service

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Vicky Styles leads our team at Bristol Communication Aid Service based at the Bristol Centre for Enablement at Cribbs Causeway.

The service was set up back in 1981 and Vicky has been part of the team as a speech and language therapist supporting people with complex communication needs for 15 years.

Here she explains a little about the service, what they do and how she feels patients are increasingly benefiting 70 years into the NHS:




Bristol Communication Aid Service sees people from across the South West, assessing their communication needs and providing or recommending the most appropriate device to meet their needs.

The service is commissioned to see people with complex needs and they tend to use higher technology for people who visit them at the centre. But there is lower-tech equipment used in the community to support people with their communication, such as alphabet boards and frames.

Vicky explains how the Frenchay E-tran Frame, which was developed by the service, works and how it has been adopted across the country:



Since the service started, technology has led to the type of devices used getting smaller and aare always improving.

"Because this is a technology based service things are never standing still," Vicky said.

"It keeps evolving and evolving and there is always something new to offer the clients we work with.

"Communication aids have been around since the 70s and back then they were on portable trolleys, huge pieces of equipment offering very basic function.

"When I started here 15 years ago there were some fairly modern pieces of equipment for the day but we had a limited selection and options.

"With advances in technology, the selection and different forms of communication aids and access methods available now means that we are able to meet the needs of nearly all the clients referred to us and there always an option we can provide someone with, which is great for our clients."