Robyn - Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Who’s this?

Robyn is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) working within the acute medical and surgical wards with patients who are acutely unwell or needing surgery, possibly suffering from pulmonary conditions and lung disease such as emphysema, also working with patients that have dementia, she is based at Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT)

What’s the story of their career to date?

Robyn grew up in South Africa and decided that she wanted to become a SLT after shadowing one whilst at school. After completing her A-levels Robyn went on to achieve a BSc in Speech and Language Pathology which took four years to complete, before going on to work for 12 months in a very rural hospital in the North of South Africa in where she gained lots of valuable experience working in many different areas of speech and language therapy. Robyn then gained a further position working within a private practice, mostly with paediatrics but also with adults too, before moving to the UK and successfully gaining her current position within the acute speech therapy team

What do they do?

Robyn works within a team that covers over thirty medical and surgery wards, working with patients who have been admitted into hospital due to their condition. Each day Robyn attends a meeting and is allocated patients that she will see on that day. One of Robyn’s main responsibilities is to look at the patients swallow function by assessing if the movement of the voice box or larynx is normal and that the patient is able to swallow safely. If after assessing the patient they are not functioning as they should be and at possible risk of choking, Robyn may advise the patient’s diet to be pureed or their liquids to be thickened in order for them to eat and drink safely. Robyn may also advise tube feeding that involves a naso-gastric feeding tube through the nose to the patients stomach whilst the patient is acutely unwell, until they are well enough to eat normally again. Robyn works closely with a multidisciplinary team such as dietitians and doctors to ensure each patient is given the best possible care needed whilst in hospital, before referring on to the community team if needed once the patient returns home.

What’s the best thing about their role?

Robyn loves working with lots of people, she works with lots of supportive staff as well as working with different patients every day and finds it really rewarding when patients get better

Where are they going from here?

Robyn really enjoys working within the acute specialised area that she does, and is looking forward to working in other new areas as part of her role, including patients who have had maxilla facial surgery

How does a role like this pay?

The role of Specialist Speech and Language Therapist normally starts at a Band 5 on the Agenda for Change Pay Scale.

The National Careers Service have a section for Specialist Speech and Language Therapist where you can find out information about the average pay for the role as well as information about the job and its responsibilities.

Where can I find out more?

This profile has been created by the Greater Manchester NHS Careers Engagement Hub in partnership with Manchester Universities NHS Foundation Trust (Central & Trafford Sites). If you have questions then feel free to contact us.

You can find out more about this role by visiting the Specialist Speech and Language Therapist section of the Health Careers website. The site gives information about the role and responsibilities, pay and conditions as well as any qualifications that are required and what the relevant courses or entry requirements are.