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So much more than speech and language therapy

So much more than speech and language therapy

SLT team showcase their work to Dartford MP

On Friday 18 November, the MP for Dartford, Gareth Johnson, visited Darent Valley Hospital to see the work of Medway Community Healthcare’s (MCH) Adult Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) team and to find out more about how they work in the local area.  The team is based at Darent Valley Hospital, predominantly working with inpatients on the wards and also providing a small outpatient service. It is an excellent example of community and hospital Trusts working together to deliver better care for patients.

In order to raise awareness of their profession and service, the SLT team held a showcase of their work and profession.  

Mr Johnson visited the team who had set up a stand in the hospital foyer with a range of communication and swallowing resources, as well as interactive quizzes.  These really generated interest in the area of SLT and helped to highlight the range of work that the team does in the hospital.


Mr Johnson was then invited to join the department, along with CEO Susan Acott and five patients to watch a presentation about the profession and the benefits of SLT.  The team also showcased a video they had made which illustrated a ‘day in the life of an SLT at DVH’.   

A highlight of the day for everyone was listening to the emotional and heartfelt experiences of patients who have had a communication or swallowing difficulty.  Five patients attended the presentation to discuss these including; a patient who had his larynx removed following throat cancer, a patient who uses an iPad to support his speech, and a patient who was previously unable to eat or drink anything safely following a stroke.  

Abigail Scott, MCH Speech and Language Therapist, said: “Difficulties with eating, drinking and communication have such a profound effect on the quality of our lives, our personalities and our relationships, which is what makes working in speech & language therapy so special.  As a team we wanted an opportunity to highlight this, as many people aren’t aware of the broad range of work that we do. 

The event provided an opportunity to showcase the work that we do and it also gave our patients a chance to use their new found voices and be heard by their local MP.  We all felt incredibly proud of our patients for being so open and brave when sharing their experiences.”

Gareth Johnson MP said: "The speech and language therapy team are yet another example of some fantastic work being carried out in our hospital. I spoke to a number of patients who had suffered serious medical conditions that had led to them being unable to either talk or swallow food.

"It's a surprisingly common problem. Treating these patients requires huge skill and professionalism from the specialists that work there. We are extremely fortunate to have this level of expertise locally. It was a genuine delight to meet the team who clearly enjoy the important work they carry out which is in turn highly valued by the patients.”

For more information: Please contact MCH marketing and communications team at medch.communications@nhs.net