Speech & Language Therapy
To enable our staff to deliver our service to our patients and families, we have had to change the way we work in line with national guidance. This means we are:
offering telephone and video consultations where possible
providing our training workshops virtually
finding other ways to bring our advice to you, e.g. through pre-recorded videos
We are now taking your calls on our normal numbers again: 01234310712 / 01234310163
Who does the service support?
The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service works across the whole county providing help in a range of community, health centre and hospital settings.
We work with children up to the age of 16 years (up to 19 years in special education), who have a difficulty with communication or swallowing. This may include difficulties in social communication, understanding language, using language, speech sounds, dysfluency (stammering), difficulties with voice quality and eating, drinking and swallowing.
What can I expect from the Service?
The service is provided in a number of ways, depending on clinical need. This may be advice programmes, individual or group treatment, parent/carer workshops and drop-in information clinics. Our therapists and support practitioners aim to support the child to communicate functionally in their daily life. This includes working with the child, their carers, education staff and others involved in the child’s life.
The service also undertakes a role in providing training and specialist support to parents/carers and staff working with children and young people in schools, residential units and other settings. This enables parents/carers and professionals involved with the child, to provide an appropriate level of support and input.
Where is the service based?
Treatment is usually provided wherever is most appropriate for the patient.
The service works in Bedford in the following locations:
- health centres and clinics
- GP practices
- Child Development Centre
- mainstream schools and preschool settings
- special schools
- Children’s Centres
- patients homes (where appropriate)
How can I access the service?
If your child is in pre-school or younger and you are worried about their speech, language and communication development you can complete a parent carer pre-school referral form. You can find the form by visiting our webpage here. If you are looking for early, informal advice, you may wish to attend a drop in advice session at a Children’s Centre in Bedford, to talk to one of our team members informally within a Children’s Centre Stay and Play session.
Children who are school aged will require a school referral form to be completed. School teaching staff are in the best position, along with parents/carers, to provide the required information about a child's speech and language skills, their difficulties and the potential impact these are having on the child's social interaction and their ability to access the curriculum.
School education staff can also provide information about what has already been implemented to support the child. Using this information, we can then ensure that the children who require specialist speech and language therapy support can access the service for an assessment. Referral forms for school aged children can be found on our webpage here.
Children who require a multi-disciplinary assessment, i.e. where their speech and language difficulties are accompanied by other concerns, should be referred directly to the Child Development Centre. A referral form can be accessed by telephoning 01234 310700.
How long will I be waiting?
The service will meet the national 18 week referral to treatment requirement.
What happens after my child has been seen?
Once the referral has been accepted and an initial assessment appointment has been completed, the therapist will discuss your child’s needs, offer advice and support and agree next steps with the child’s parent/carer. A report will then be shared with details of this plan. The next steps for each child will be different depending on their needs, but may include using the advice given and monitoring their progress, training or coming in for one to one or group sessions.
What if I need more information?
Further information and advice for parents and professionals, including training dates and the locally designed toolkits for professionals, can be found on our website.
Our service also has a Facebook page, or you can search 'Children’s Speech and Language Therapy in Luton and Bedfordshire', where regular advice and ideas about supporting children’s communication are shared.
What can I do if my child is not accepted into the service?
All referrals into the service are triaged to determine if Specialist Speech and Language Therapy is the most appropriate service for the child. Sometimes a child may not need specialist support at the point of referral. If this is the case you will be signposted to wider support services, including 0-19 team, Children’s Centres, our locally designed toolkits etc.
Who can I contact?
SLT Single Point of Access Administrator
Telephone: 01234 310712
Address: Union Street Clinic, Union Street, Bedford, MK40 2SF
Who to contact
Where to go
- Union Street Health Centre
- MK40 2SF
- Get directions
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Office open between 9.00am – 5.00pm
- Time of day
- Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old
- SEN Provision Type