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Join our NHS adult therapy 'telehealth' pilot

| 17.01.2017

Are you looking for NHS speech therapy but cannot access it locally – perhaps because there is no service for adults where you live?

Telehealth therapyBSA is working with Airedale NHS Trust to offer – in a pilot programme – NHS speech therapy over the internet, via Telehealth.

This is a wonderful opportunity to access specialist speech therapy for those who may otherwise struggle – we know therapy can change lives!

Please feel free to email me (nl@stammering.org) with any further queries you may have and which have not been addressed in the answers below.

Has this been tried before?

Yes, it has – telehehealth is not uncommon in other countries such as Australia where distance is a major problem. The therapist who is carrying out the work herself has experience with delivering speech therapy via telehealth.

Who will be delivering the therapy?

Therapy will be delivered by a specialist speech and language therapist, Stephanie Burgess. Stephanie works for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and has been delivering specialist stammering therapy in the locality for many years.

How can I access this programme - do I need a GP referral?

There are a few restrictions for this pilot programme. You need -

  • to be 18 years of age or older
  • be resident in the UK
  • to be in sufficient command of the English language, ie not requiring an interpreter, and
  • to be unable to access NHS speech therapy locally where you live.

You do not require a GP referral. You can apply for the programme simply by sending us your email address and the first part of your postcode. You can use this form. We will then check your local NHS provision, and either come back to you with details of your local service, or (if there is no local service) we will pass on your details to Airedale NHS Trust who will come back to you with more detailed information. You can also explain in the form why accessing an existing local NHS service might be difficult for you.

You can decide at any point in the process not to proceed with the therapy.

What kind of therapy will be provided?

You will receive the same kind of therapy you would if you were meeting the therapist face to face.

When will it start?

The project will start from 1st April 2017, so therapy sessions will not be commencing until on or after that date.

What technology do I need?

You need a computer with reasonably fast broadband internet access, a webcam and either speakers or headphones. There is no special software required, the session with the therapist will work through a web browser. The therapist will email you a link and an access code which will enable you to log into the session.

You will need to have a quiet space for the therapy session.

If you do not have internet access at home, you may be able to set this up either through a local library or through your GP practice.

Will this be evaluated?

As this is a pilot project, the outcome will be evaluated by Leeds Beckett University – you will be asked at certain points to complete evaluation forms and questionnaires.

Norbert Lieckfeldt, BSA Chief Executive

This project won the Guardian Public Service Awards 2017 in the 'Digital and technology' category: Award for 'telehealth' stammering therapy project.