Speech and language therapists (SLTs) work closely with babies, children and adults who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems, and with those who have swallowing, drinking or eating difficulties. The role can involve working with a diverse client group, including people with physical and learning disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, psychiatric disorders or dementia.
Therapists assess a client's needs before developing individual treatment programmes to enable each client to improve as much as possible. Treatment plans often involve other people with whom the client has a close relationship, for example family, carers or teachers.
SLTs usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team, alongside other health professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists. They may also liaise with professionals in education and social services.
Speech and language therapists in the NHS start on £21,478 (Band 5), rising to £27,901. Other employers, such as charities and local education authorities, offer comparable pay. Specialist speech and language therapists (Band 6) can earn from £25,783 to £34,530. Advanced speech and language therapists (Band 7) can earn between £30,764 and £40,558.
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