Coronavirus

Visit the NHS.UK website for the latest guidance on:

  • Coronavirus symptoms
  • Advice for patients
  • Using the NHS 111 service
  • NHS services that can be used at this time
  • Self isolation and social distancing

For the latest advice please visit  the NHS website

For all planned appointments with our services please read the following information sheet:

Important information for patients with an upcoming NHS appointment.

 

Our children's speech and language therapy teams assess, diagnose, and provide therapy for children and young people with speech, language, communication and/or swallowing problems to help them communicate to the best of their ability.

We work in partnership with parents, nurseries, children’s centres and school staff to embed communication goals in a child’s everyday environment.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we've pulled together a list of helpful Speech and Language Therapy resources for parents and carers to use at home.

Free Virtual Parenting Seminars in August

Join this series of online parenting seminars taking place throughout the month of August 2020 to learn new skills from the Positive Parenting Program strategy.

Find out dates and details in this flyer.

Free Coronavirus Information Books for Children

The Nosy Crow has published a free information book about explaining Coronavirus to children. The book is available to download and print out, and aims to guide parents and carers in answering simple questions about Coronavirus to children aged between 5 and 9 years old.

https://nosycrow.com/blog/released-today-free-information-book-explaining-coronavirus-children-illustrated-gruffalo-illustrator-axel-scheffler/

Coronavirus: A book for children (illustration)

MindHeart has published a free short book to support and reassurance children under the age of 7 about the current COVID-19 climate. The book is available to download in 25 different languages.

https://www.mindheart.co/descargables

Lucy Sanctuary has written a free short story about school closure due to Coronavirus, mostly aimed at children with Autism.

https://www.acamh.org/app/uploads/2020/03/Freddy-school-and-the-corona-virus.pdf

Home Learning and Activities

The BBC's Tiny Happy People has created a list of activities to try at home with children aged 0 to 5 years old. Here are some examples:

Make Your Own Binoculars: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p089zvcm 

Rhyme Time - Walking Around The Garden: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07kg8qg

Helpful Advice from an Speech and Language Therapist: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p075m6db

Finger Painting: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p082vvzw

Speech and Language Therapy Home Activities

The NHS Worcestershire Trust has put together an extensive list of videos demonstrating different Speech and Language Therapy activities that parents can try at home to address a variety of concerns.

https://www.hacw.nhs.uk/childrens-speech-and-language-resources/

 

Useful Resources for Parents/Carers of Children with Autism, Anxiety and Disabilities

We see children with communication difficulties due to:

  • Language delay
  • Developmental language disorder
  • Autism/social interaction difficulties
  • Specific difficulties in producing sounds
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cleft palate
  • Stammering
  • Voice disorders
  • Selective mutism
  • Feeding and swallowing difficulties
  • Mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties
  • Physical disabilities

Who is our service available to?

Early Years

Our service is available to preschool children (0 - 5 years), who have speech, language and communication needs, or/or with eating and drinking needs. All children who have a GP in the borough can access this service.

Our speech and language therapy service mostly takes place in clinics, children’s centres, nurseries and nursery classes attached to schools. The support we provide includes assessment of needs, group and individual therapy for children, and training and collaborating with parents and carers and staff involved in the child’s care. Our Speech and Language Therapists run drop-in sessions at children’s centres, for parents/carers to find out more about speech and language needs and our service, and to discuss any concerns they have with their child’s speech, language, and communication development.

A specialist feeding service is available to assess and support children who face difficulties with eating and drinking. When an urgent feeding referral is received, the therapist will contact the family within two weeks. Support consists of advice and a programme, which is reviewed regularly.

Find out more about what to expect from Early Years Speech and Language Therapy.

Mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools Service

Our Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service for Mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools offers dedicated support to parents/carers and school staff to empower them to meet the speech, language and communication needs of all children with speech, language or communication needs. This includes providing advice, training, and information to school staff and parents/carers to help them with identifying and meeting speech and language needs through targeted support.

Therapists provide direct therapy for individual children with speech, language and communication needs in their Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plans during term time. All children in Mainstream Schools with eating and drinking needs will be supported by SLTs working in the Special Schools SLT team.

Beyond this, therapists work in partnership with school staff to develop strategies and deliver interventions for facilitating communication development for all children. This is primarily achieved through the provision of ‘Learning Workshops’ for school staff. The Learning Workshops are short, practical training sessions on a wide range of topics delivered across the borough. They are an excellent, free CPD opportunity to promote embedded support for all children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. They also play an important role in ensuring education staff who work with children with Speech, Language and Communication outcomes on an EHCP have the necessary confidence and skills to be able to effectively work towards achieving those outcomes in school.  This ensures that speech and language skills are supported throughout the school day, in all setting sand classes and the wider school community. 

Some schools also buy in additional Speech and Language Therapy whole-school training for staff or support time for students attending their schools. Some schools buy in SLT support from the CLCH NHS team, other schools choose to buy in additional SLT support from independently employed Speech and Language Therapists. To find out more about what is happening in your child’s school to support them, please speak to their school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

Special Schools and Additional Resource Provisions

Within Special Schools and Units, SLTs work as part of the school teams to develop the approach to supporting communication within the school setting. The needs of students’ with Education Health Care Plans are met functionally within a wide range of school activities and therapists work alongside class teams to support the development of communication skills within the whole school community throughout the day. Parents are welcome to contact therapy teams within the schools to discuss their child’s communication and interaction needs and current care plan at any time.

School therapists work with the individual school provisions to respond to identified training needs within the school. 

SLTs will work with school staff and families to support children with eating and drinking needs where this is required.

Out of borough schools

Children attending schools outside of CLCH or independent schools will usually access therapy and other support at their school.  

If a child has SLT provision on an Education Health and Care plan, please speak with your child’s Local Authority EHCP Coordinator regarding arrangements that have been made for them to receive SLT support in their school. The H&F Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on SEND@lbhf.gov.uk or 0208 753 1021. The K&C and Westminster Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on sen@rbkc.gov.uk or 020 7361 3311.

Children without an EHCP who attend out of borough schools or independent schools can be referred to the ‘School Aged SLT Assessment and Advice Clinics’ as detailed in the ‘referrals’ section above by their GP.

16+ Service

Direct therapy for children over 16 in mainstream schools, or 19 in special schools, should be delivered by the relevant Further Education setting or arranged through the Local Authority. If a child/young person has SLT provision on an Education Health and Care plan, please speak with your child’s Local Authority EHCP Coordinator regarding arrangements that have been made for them to receive SLT support in their education setting. The H&F Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on SEND@lbhf.gov.uk or 0208 753 1021. The K&C and Westminster Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on sen@rbkc.gov.uk or 020 7361 3311.

Local arrangements for children’s speech and language therapy in Merton can be accessed by contacting the locality lead for the service based at The Civic Centre, Morden.

This speech and language therapy service provides support to schools in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. The school aged service is for pupils who have significant speech, language and communication needs.

The community education speech and language therapy service has recently completed a period of service redesign and development. Our speech and language education service work closely with schools.

Should you have any concerns about your child’s communication skills in the future, please discuss these directly with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s primary school.

The following services are provided in these three boroughs:

  • Community early years speech and language therapy services
  • Community education speech and language therapy services

Helpful information

Early Years Referrals

Community early years speech and language therapy services operate an open referral system, so anyone can refer to the community early years’ service (tri-borough) for a pre-school child.

Use one of our referral forms for Speech and Language Therapy:

Use this form to refer children with eating and drinking difficulties:

Completed referral forms should be printed and sent to:

Speech & Language Therapy
Paediatric SPA
The Medical Centre
7e Woodfield Road
London W9 3XZ

Or referral forms can be emailed directly to: CLCHT.chirp@nhs.net

Please also ensure you refer to the audiology service at the same time (020 3704 6060).

NB: audiology only accept referrals from healthcare professionals, please do ring audiology directly if you have any queries about the service.

For information about expected language development and key milestones in the Early Years (0 - 5 years old) please refer to our Monitoring Form

School Aged Referrals

The SLT service in CLCH for school aged pupils provides direct support for children with SLT provision within into an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and provides assessment and advice to contribute to the EHCP Needs Assessment process. Referrals are received directly from the Local Authority.

In addition, children and young people who school aged and who have a CLCH GP can be referred to the ‘School Aged SLT Assessment and Advice’ Clinics. These clinics are also run by colleagues in Westminster and K&C for pupils with GPs in these boroughs. The Assessment and Advice Clinics are for pupils who appear to have significant speech, language and communication needs which are impacting on their access to the curriculum and ability to integrate with peers or who stammer. 

Children can be referred to the School Aged SLT Assessment and Advice clinics by their GP. If a referral is required, please ask your GP to complete a referral form and email it to CLCHT.chirp@nhs.net. Referral forms can be found here and will be accepted from any GP in H&F, Westminster or K&C. GPs in other boroughs should refer to their local services. The H&F Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on SEND@lbhf.gov.uk or 0208 753 1021. The K&C and Westminster Local Authority EHCP Coordinators can be contacted on sen@rbkc.gov.uk or 020 7361 3311.

Following receipt of a referral form, the child’s school will be asked to complete a teacher questionnaire with details of the impact of the child’s speech, language, or communication needs. When this information is received and reviewed, the child will be offered and assessment and advice clinic appointment if appropriate.

The purpose of this appointment will be to assess the child’s communication skills and provide advice on how to support his/her communication development. A report outlining assessment results and advice given will be written following the appointment and sent to both parents and school, if requested.

Children who are referred to the SLT assessment and advice clinics by their GP are generally seen in the school holidays when the clinics run.

Please be advised that we are able to offer an assessment and advice for your child however we are unable to commit to ongoing therapy.  The H&F mainstream school SALT service is not currently able to provide ongoing direct therapy/intervention for pupils who do not have an Educational Health and Care Plan.

For more information about the services provided, contact your local clinic.

Referrers can contact the service by email: CLCHT.chirp@nhs.net

Inclusion criteria for our community early years’ service

  • A service for children up to the age of five years or the term before they start school (whichever is sooner) who have identified or suspected speech and language difficulties.
  • The child needs to have a GP and home address within the tri-borough or Merton area.

Exclusion criteria for our community early years’ service

  • Any child over five years of age or in school (whichever is soonest)
  • If a child’s GP/address is not within the tri-borough or Merton area.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – cancellation of face-to-face activities

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, and following current guidance from NHS England, we have cancelled all face-to-face activities, including our drop-in sessions. We are regularly reviewing the situation, with the safety of our families and staff being our top priority.

If you are worried about your child’s communication skills and your child is not known to our service, please call the Early Years Speech and Language Therapy service on 020 7266 8777.

Drop Ins

Our speech and language therapists (SLTs) regularly attend local children’s centres to speak with parents/carers.

They are able to:
  • provide information on general strategies and advice to support your child’s communication development
  • discuss any concerns or questions you may have
  • make a referral to the SLT service should you wish.

Our Speech and Language Therapists will also be attending drop ins at the Stephen Wiltshire Centre to talk with parents/carers of children aged 0 - 5 years old with Autism and complex needs.

We are also offering Autism post-diagnostic workshops for parents of children under 5 years old who have received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Tiny Talkers Group

SLTs in Hammersmith and Fulham have also been working jointly with children's centres on the NSPCC 'Look, Say, Sing, Play' initiative, which is the focus of the Tiny Talkers Group.

A fun group for children with mild to moderate language difficulties, run by a CLCH speech and language therapist, with tips and advice to help your child’s talking and understanding.

You can also find out more and sign up for brain-building tips via the NSPCC website.

Videos & Resources for Parents/Carers

Hungry Little Minds

Hungry Little Minds is a campaign launched by the UK Department of Education to help promote what parents/carers can do to support their child’s communication and learning. The campaign offers parents and carers practical tips and strategies they can use every day to develop their child’s speaking, learning, listening and reading.

Here are some top tips you can adopt to help feed your child's hungry little mind:

Creating Communication Supportive Spaces

This video from the Communication Trust gives examples of communication supportive spaces that help support your child's growing language skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1ZbRpU9jak&feature=emb_title 

Still Face Experiment video

Watch the video to learn about the Still Face Experiment, conducted by Dr. Edward Tronick. This experiment demonstrates the link between a parent/carer's emotional behaviour and responsiveness, and their child's behaviour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0&feature=emb_title

Videos on Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Developmental Language Disorder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nb0wNjI6jI&feature=emb_title
Stammering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8xlNBmYdqQ&feature=emb_title
Alternative & Augmentative Communication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4OL2bnSv3Q&feature=emb_title
Cleft Palate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqaecZk-mlA&feature=emb_title
Swallowing Difficulties (Dysphagia): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTMMZ-Cr9EA&feature=emb_title
Hearing Impairment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TrpOTZI4zs&feature=emb_title & https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiKwROOiu2Dm8fph0F-prztKIEhrNjHDG 
Complex Needs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuwm-dcTOSI&feature=emb_title

Websites for Parents/Carers

Glossary of Resources

Anxiety

Additude has published a guide on how to explain coronavirus to children with anxiety.

Autism

Bilingualism

Cleft Lip & Palate

Developmental Language Disorder

Disability

Literacy

Makaton

Stammering

Tips for Early Years Talking

Hungry Little Minds is a campaign launched by the UK Department of Education to help promote what parents/carers can do to support their child’s communication and learning. The campaign offers parents and carers practical tips and strategies they can use every day to develop their child’s speaking, learning, listening and reading.

Here are some top tips you can adopt to help feed your child's hungry little mind:

Other resources for helping your child talk:

A range of training options is available to staff working in early years including early years practitioners, voluntary staff and health visitors, to help support all children and young people’s communication.​

Early Years Practitioners training courses & overview

SENDCO advice surgery Early Years SLT Telephone advice line for Practitioners

The Early Years Telephone Advice Line is open for practitioners working in Early Years seeking support and advice on subjects such as training, when to refer to Speech and Language Therapy and setting up a communicative supportive environment. 

Please note we are unable to discuss individual children on this advice line. 

For queries please call The Children's Complex Care and Speech and Language Therapy Admin Hub on 0207 266 8777. This is the current centralised number during Covid-19. Lines are open 8am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays.

Learning workshops are on offer to staff who work in mainstream schools across Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham. 

Speech and Language Therapy Learning Workshops

All schools have access to a range of free training programmes for school staff across the school year provided by the local SLT service delivered by Central London Community Health Care (CLCH):

  • Makaton Beginners and Enhanced - how to use signs, symbols and speech to support communication
  • Use of Visuals in the Classroom - how visual supports can be used in the classroom to support student's attention and listening, understanding, expression and social skills
  • Colour coding communication - how to use colour coding to support expressive and receptive language skills
  • Stories for Social Understanding - how to support student's social understanding using stories
  • Developing Narrative Skills - how to help student's with speech, language and communication needs to retell stories and recount events
  • Vocabulary development workshops - how schools can support children to learn and use new words in the classroom
  • Language for Thinking - how to develop children's language from the concrete to the abstract and respond to questions in the classroom
  • Lego Therapy - how to support children with social difficulties to improve and practice their social interaction and communication skills using lego bricks      
  • Use of Comic Strips  - how to use comic strips to support students to understand the more abstract aspects of social communication (for students with ASD)    
  • Zones of regulation - how to teach students strategies for emotional and sensory self-management 
  • Self Help Skills - how to help students develop self help strategies in the school environment to help them before more independent learners
  • Language for Learning - how to use different types of questions to support students with SLCN in the classroom (using the Blank Rose and Berlin 'Language for Learning' model)
  • Classroom Toolkits to Support SLCN - learn more about using checklistss, structured observations and other toolkits to support SLCN in your classroom.
  • KS2 Narrative - develop strategies to support the narrative skills of students with SLCN.
  • Blank's Questions - Learn how to use different types of questions to support students with SLCN. Strategies learned will support you to differentiate questions in the classroom.
  • Higher Level Language Comprehension - Develop strategies to support comprehension of more complex language.
  • Developmental Language Disorder - Learn more about how to recognise and support CPY with DLD.
  • Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia - Learn more about diagnosis, treatment approaches and how to help with DVD.
  • Conversation Skills - Support students in turn-taking and having successful social interactions with their peers.
  • Attention Autism - Support the development of joint attention skills in young children with ASD.
  • Dysfluency - Learn more about the features of dysfluency and different therapy approaches. 

Please visit the Services to schools website (http://www.services2schools.org.uk/) to book your free place.

The service operates Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Contact Telephone Numbers

Please call the Children's Complex Care and Speech and Language Therapy Admin Hub on: 0207 266 8777.

This is the new telephone line for all SLT teams during COVID-19. Lines are open 8am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays.

Parsons Green Health Centre
  • Address: 5-7 Parsons Green, London SW6 4UL
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Parkview Centre for Health And Wellbeing
  • Address: Cranston Court, First Floor, 56 Bloemfontein Road, London W12 7FG
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • Address: Cheyne Child Development Service, 369 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9NH
  • Opening times: Please contact your local SLT for availability at this location
World’s End Health Centre
  • Address: 529 Kings Road, London SW10 OUD
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Colville Health Centre
  • Address: 51 Kensington Park Road, London W11 1PA
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Westminster, The Medical Centre
  • Address: 7E Woodfield Road, London W9 3XZ
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Bessborough Street Clinic
  • Address: 1 Bessborough Street, London SW1V 2JD
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Lisson Grove Health Centre
  • Address: Gateforth Street, London NW8 8EG
  • Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm