Bury speech and language therapists keep nearly 700 people out of hospital
Bury’s community-based speech and language therapists are helping to keep local people healthy and out of hospital.
The Trust's adult Speech and Language Therapy Team in Bury provided care to a total of 697 people in between January 2017 and January 2018.
As well as providing support for people with speech and language issues, the team supports people who have eating, drinking or swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia.
Dysphasia can lead to potentially life threatening issues such as malnutrition, dehydration, pneumonia, persistent coughing, choking and problems taking vital medication. At best, these issues can affect people’s quality of life; in extreme cases they can lead to serious illness and even death.
By providing community-based care, the team is helping to keep people healthy and reducing the chances of them needing hospital care.
Not only does the team ease pressure on busy hospital services, they also help people to be as independent as possible and enjoy a better quality of life.
Louise Robinson, Bury Speech and Language Therapy Team Lead said: “Our role as speech and language therapists is not always fully understood. We see people with a wide range of problems; these are not just related to speech and language problems, but also around feeding and swallowing.
“We’re passionate about supporting people to overcome challenges and undertake tasks that many of us take for granted. Through improving communication and swallowing, we are able to help people enjoy simple pleasures such as sitting down and enjoying a meal with their family. It’s so rewarding to know that people get a lasting benefit from the help we provide.”
Thanks to the Speech and Language Therapy Team, Gladys, 84, from Bury avoided a hospital visit and benefitted from improved swallowing, nutrition intake and alertness.
The team received an urgent referral from a local care home for Gladys, as she was experiencing recurrent chest infections, weight loss and problems with swallowing.
The team visited Gladys within 24 hours, as she was at risk of developing pneumonia which would require a hospital admission.
Working closely with Gladys’s carer, the team developed a tailored care plan. This focused on improving her oral hygiene and making changes to her diet, such as thickened fluids, mashed food and higher calorie meals.
After a couple of weeks, Gladys’s health improved considerably. Her eating and drinking improved, she was more alert and no longer coughed when swallowing. Her chest had also cleared and she became free of the recurrent chest infections.
The Bury Speech and Language Therapy Team is just one of the services provided by the Trust that is helping people to stay out of hospital this winter.