Monday, 28 April 2014

NHS and Independent Speech therapists: Working together

In a previous post I discussed the differences and similarities between NHS and Independent therapists, and the importance of collaboration. But what does collaboration mean?

Collaboration means to work jointly together. Therefore, any example of people working together could be described as collaboration. But what does that mean for Speech and Language Therapists (SLT’s) and their clients?

A SLT may collaborate with a colleague i.e. another SLT, or SLT Assistant; when planning a language group together. A SLT may collaborate with a Health Visitor or GP when concerns are shared about a particular child in their care. Or, a SLT may work with a teacher or Teaching Assistant to set goals for a child in the classroom. Often, these ‘relationships’ can be short-lived; or sometimes they can be long term i.e. when working within a residential school setting. However, the main outcome of these collaborative relationships is that the client remains the centre of professionals focus. Any outcomes set for these children or adults should be client centred

A client-centred approach was first thought of by Rogers in the 1940’s. With this approach the SLT and the client and their family/carers work together to achieve change; the SLT becoming a facilitator and working in partnership with the client and their family and carers.  This partnership then enables SLT’s to develop trust and empathy so that clients and their families, carers, teachers etc. feel empowered.

I would also like to highlight that SLT’s are there to promote a positive change, not necessarily a cure. As, ‘cure’ is determined by an individual’s standards and beliefs about what is normal! Therefore an SLT will aim to offer help and advice appropriate to their clients’ needs, to enable them to attain the best quality of life they can be expected to achieve. This is not only challenging for the SLT but for parents, carers, families etc.

At Small Talk SLT Ltd we always strive to ensure that goals are appropriate to our clients needs. We are also very lucky to have the time and resources available to collaborate effectively with our clients and their families; and other professionals where appropriate.

Georgina White

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