SaLT survey results out now


Earlier this year, we asked you for your views on and experiences of Surrey’s Speech & Language Therapy service to feed back into the service change planning being undertaken by the local authority with our involvement. Broadly, a third of parents are really happy with the service (eg: early years support). The two thirds who are less happy have experienced delays in assessments or intervention, a lack of communication and/or a lack of individualised approach.EndFragment

We identified your top three issues and have asked the local authority and health to consider the following actions:

1. Communication

Families have no clear idea whether therapy is being delivered, by whom, how much, how progress is monitored and how much progress has been made. Many do not know who the therapist is and are caught unawares by staff changes.

Actions?

  • Therapists need to explain their profession more clearly to parents. The impact of SLTs training teachers and TAs is not understood and good communication of this aspect would allay many concerns.

  • The introduction of a therapy appointment booklet would be welcomed by parents. A communication’s from is currently being trialled at Brooklands School. This was requested and devised by parents, supported by FVS. Building on this form, a booklet would log sessions and who is delivering, with the relevant provision/outcomes copied from the child’s EHCP. Monitoring progress would be an additional benefit.

2. Early intervention

Parents are concerned that they are waiting too long for assessments, causing ~37% to seek private advice. A third of parents waited less than 3 months and were very pleased with this stage of the process, but a third waited between 6 months and 2 years.

Actions?

  • Ensure that the new service which should address this issue actually does so. What monitoring will be put in place? How can FVS work with you to ensure that this monitoring is efficient and effective?

3. Need for more individualised approach

Parents are concerned that reports are not individualised or comprehensive enough to inform the right provision. The current system may not be addressing changing needs: One parent, who had paid for a private SLT assessment, wrote “change of diagnosis, previously had been ASD, he was not, he had SLI”

Once a diagnosis has been made, families are seeking a more flexible and personal approach: “Felt that the SLT provision was poor and too formula driven. Not taking account of the child and their own learning and a rigid approach.”

Actions?

  • Is there a standard template for assessment and reports to ensure comprehensivity and equitability? (For example, an EHCP is a standard document yet individual)

  • Is there potential for a parental comment to the assessment and report? This might address the concern raised that SLTs do not come to the home as part of the assessment.

Click here for a copy of the full report.

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