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Speech and Language Therapy referral change for North Somerset care home residents

By 2nd May 2024No Comments

Following an extensive trial period, our Speech and Language Therapy Service is changing the way it provides support for care and residential home residents with swallowing issues in North Somerset.

The new process will use our swallowing self-management resources for care homes in North Somerset. Care home staff will complete an initial questionnaire, and will be provided immediate guidance and next steps based on the responses provided. This may involve being directed to supporting resources, or being directed to contact the team for more support.

This resource must be used in the first instance and will give staff strategies and recommendations to manage the problems the resident may have.

If this advice doesn’t resolve the issues or staff remain concerned, then they can contact the Speech and Language Therapy team directly at to discuss the issues further. The therapists may need to see the completed forms, and find out what steps have already been taken. If a face-to-face visit is needed, then this will be arranged and there will be no need to complete a referral form. If referral forms are sent in, the care home will be prompted to use the online self-management resources and to follow the new process.

The new system has been trialled with more than 30 homes in the area and has received positive feedback due to the immediate guidance provided and the useful paper-trail, which can also be used during CQC inspections. It has also reduced waiting times for the team to see residents.

More information and instructional videos are available on the swallowing self management resources page. If you need more support or have any questions, please contact

Residents who have communication difficulties only, or swallowing and communication difficulties that require therapy can continue to be referred using the usual referral form available on Remedy. The changes also do not apply to Adult Learning Disability care homes. Referrals from these homes will continue to be made in the same way.