Speech and Language Therapy

Adult Speech and Language Therapy is a countywide service provided by Somerset Partnership.  The service provides assessment, diagnosis and treatment to both inpatients and outpatients with acquired and congenital disorders of communication and swallowing. All adults with disorders of communication and swallowing who are registered with a Somerset GP are eligible are eligible for referral to the Service.

Inpatients are generally seen on the wards whilst outpatients can be seen within the Speech and Language Therapy departments or where clinically necessary in their own homes. Patients are treated either individually or in small groups and there is emphasis on helping people function more effectively within their environment. Carers and relatives are involved in developing relevant care plans and are supported in their care, particularly on discharge.

A specialised service

We have a wide range of expertise within the service. All staff have a broad range of knowledge across all areas. Our specialists have a high level of skill and knowledge in certain areas of need such as:

  • Stroke
  • Neurodisability (progressive neurological disorders)
  • Dysfluency (stammering and cluttering)
  • Voice Disorders (including Transgender Voice Training)
  • Oncology
  • Dysphagia (swallowing disorder)
  • Learning Disabilities

Communication Disorders

Speech and Language Therapists provide acute and community services to people who have acquired and congenital communication problems.

  • Dysphasia / Aphasia - A language disorder which may affect a person’s ability to speak, write and understand spoken or written words.
  • Dysarthria - An articulation disorder due to disturbed or weak control of the muscles for speech, e.g. lips, tongue, jaw, palate, vocal folds and muscles which control breathing.
  • Dyspraxia (verbal) - An articulation disorder which affects a person’s ability to plan and execute speech movements in the absence of muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory loss, comprehension deficit or ataxia.
  • Dysphonia - Altered voice production as a result of organic, physical or functional changes.

These may be the result of stroke, progressive neurological disease, traumatic brain injury, voice production difficulties or head and neck surgery.

Swallowing Disorders

Speech and Language Therapists assess, diagnose and manage swallowing disorders (dysphagia) associated with congenital difficulties and also acquired neurological disorders, stroke, head and neck surgery, palliative care and respiratory complications (e.g. tracheostomy).

Our aim is to identify those individuals who have the potential for aspiration (the inhalation of food / fluid into the airway) and to ensure that eating and drinking is safe and sufficient. It is helpful for us to be involved in care at an early stage as we contribute to the diagnosis and management of swallowing difficulties.

We will provide information about the results of assessments, agreed oral intake and any appropriate swallowing strategies. Further investigation via videofluroscopy may be required.

Videofluoroscopy (X-Ray Video)

Videofluoroscopy Swallowing Clinics are held at both Yeovil District Hospital and Musgrove Park Hospital. Referrals to these clinics are made by Speech and Language Therapists, GP’s and Consultants.

The Teams

The East Team

The East team has its main department located in Yeovil and covers the South Somerset and Mendip area.

South Somerset

The East team in the South Somerset area provides an in-patient and out patient service to the following hospitals:

  • Chard Community Hospital
  • Crewkerne CommunityHospital
  • South Petherton Community Hospital
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wincanton Community Hospital

Mendip

The East team in the Mendip area provides an in-patient and out patient service to the following hospitals:

  • Frome Community Hospital
  • Shepton Mallet Community Hospital
  • West Mendip Community Hospital

The West Team

The West team has it’s main department located at Dene Barton Hospital and covers the area of Taunton Deane and Somerset Coast providing an in-patient and out patient service to the following hospitals:

  • Bridgwater Community Hospital
  • Burnham-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital
  • Dene Barton Community Hospital
  • Minehead Community Hospital
  • Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton
  • Wellington Community Hospital
  • Williton Community Hospital

All referrals for the East and West teams should be sent to the Adult Speech and Language Therapy Service at:

Central Booking Office
Adult Speech and Language Therapy
Bracken House
Crewkerne Road
CHARD
TA20 1YA

Tel: 01823 617464

Adults with learning disabilities

For information about speech and language therapy for adults with learning disabilities please visit our Learning Disability specialist health service webpage.