SLTs provide acute and rehabilitation services to people who have communication problems (such as aphasia, dysarthria, dysphonia) when they are inpatients, outpatients or in the community. These may be the result of stroke, progressive neurological illness, traumatic brain injury, fluency disorders (e.g. stammering), or palliative care needs.
People who are referred to SLT may have difficulty expressing themselves clearly. Some (e.g. people who have had a stroke or those with a progressive neurological illness, such as dementia) may also have difficulty understanding what is said to them. They may not be able to read and write as well as they used to. They may not be able to tell their family how they feel or what they want to do. If people are unable to communicate using speech, they may benefit from a referral to the Bristol Communication Aids Service.
SLTs will provide information on the nature of the communication problem and will carry out thorough assessments to determine the most effective intervention for an individual. They may implement programmes of therapy if appropriate or give advice and support to carers, to ensure that people are able to communicate as effectively as possible. SLTs will work with individuals, groups, and their families or carers.