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Communication Service Pathway


  • You may be referred to a Speech and Language Therapists whilst in hospital.
  • Your G.P or other professional may refer you as an outpatient.
  • You may refer yourself into the service.

Contact: 01388 455 200



We want to make sure you receive the service which is right for you. This process is called triage.

If you have been referred from community we may give you a call to ask about

  • your communication skills/ needs
  • your goals for therapy

and tell you about your service options.


Inpatient referrals are usually seen within 1-2 working days.

Community referrals will receive an appointment letter through the post once an appointment slot is available.

There may be a waiting list for community referrals. To find out your position on the waiting list, call 01388 455 200

We will try and find a day and time that fits best with you.


At your first appointment we will give you accessible information about our service and ask you to consent to treatment.

During your first appointment we will

  • find out about you, your communication and how your communication difficulties are affecting your life
  • assess your speech and language to help us understand your specific communication skills
  • give you advice on effective communication strategies and support for managing your communication needs.


We will talk to you about your goals for therapy and agree with you the best route to reach them.

Therapy options include:

  • one to one therapy
  • group therapy
  • computer therapy
  • conversational partner therapy
  • support / advice


Review appointments are a chance to:

  • catch up and see how you are managing
  • tell us any concerns
  • adjust your treatment plan to your needs

Review appointments may be at home, clinic or via telephone.


Sometimes communication difficulties do not get better.

Our goal is to help you maximise your specific communication skills and ensure you have all the techniques and support you need, to feel confident about your communication.

We will plan your discharge with you and ensure you have access to on-going support as required.


You can ask your G.P or any other professional to refer you back to the Speech and Language Therapy service at any time.

Or you can refer yourself.

Contact: Contact: 01388 455 200


'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital