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Speech & Language Therapy - Early Intervention

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Pauline Downie


The Scottish Government have set a vision to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. To help achieve this ambition there is a real focus on early intervention and prevention. Evidence shows that early intervention and support is key to helping children reach their full potential. We are determined to play our part in helping to realize this ambition by working in partnership with children and young people, their parents, carers and all relevant agencies.

We have been working hard to change and improve our service focusing on early intervention, prevention and partnership working. Here are some of the things we have been doing:

Improving Access and Engagement

  • We are now based and work within 22 of our Family Learning and Nursery Centres across Lanarkshire
  • We are delivering drop-in sessions and bookbug sessions in local libraries and community centres
  • We offer a weekly telephone advice line and are developing our website, facebook and twitter account

Developing Knowledge and Working with Partners

  • We have developed and delivered a range of training and learning opportunities for the Early Years and Health Visiting Workforce
  • We are working with others to jointly deliver Communication friendly bookbug sessions and early language groups
  • We are developing a network of ‘communication champions’ who promote language and communication in their early years settings

Prevention & Early Identification

  • We have developed tools to help Early Years and Health Visiting staff identify speech, language and communication needs as early as possible
  • We have jointly developed information and goal setting resources so our partners can promote and encourage speech, language and communication development
  • We have developed resources to promote ‘Communication friendly’ environments in the early years.

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Speech & Language staff who are driving and delivering improvements in Early Years

What this means for Children & Families

  • Easier access to Speech & Language Therapy services
  • Increased opportunities to access Speech & Language Therapy advice and support in the local community
  • Children experiencing language rich, communication friendly environments in their early years experiences which aim to prevent needs from arising
  • Early Intervention opportunities and improved identification of children who require additional support
  • Families can access the advice and support when they need it

We are continuing to seek feedback from parents, families and our partners to help us improve our service. Here are some of the things we have heard:

I noticed my child attended better to activities as the weeks went on, I really saw him joining in and enjoying himself (Parent).

Made me think about opportunities I was missing in encouraging my child’s communication, made me make changes to what I did with my child in the home and outside the home (Parent).

Working alongside an Speech and Language therapist means it is much easier to ask questions and share discussions on a regular basis (Early Years worker).

In the past there were some children I would have referred at point of review but using the bundle has assisted in the issue been resolved without the need for specialist input (Health Visitor).

If you have an experience of the Speech and Language Therapy Service you would like to share, please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch

May I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2018!

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