Initial assessment (90 minutes)
An assessment session will include a discussion of any difficulties, a cranial nerve examination (to look at the nerves and muscles involved in swallowing) and then your swallowing assessment. This will include trialling different foods and fluids and may involve trialling different strategies or equipment to help you. The findings and recommendations will the be discussed with you. With your consent, a report will be sent to your GP. It is advised that a report is sent to your GP so that they are aware any changes in your swallowing presentation and diet and fluid recommendations.
You may be recommended to have an instrumental assessment of your swallowing, so that your swallowing can be better understood. This provides an objective assessment of your swallowing, enabling strategies to be trialled and helping to identify if any therapy exercises or approaches may be beneficial.
Instrumental assessments include a videofluroscopy (an X-ray watching you swallow) or a FEES (looking at your swallowing whilst you a camera down your throat). Your GP would have to provide consent for you to have a videofluroscopy. We can discuss whether you want a referral to your local NHS speech and language therapy team to have one of these assessments or if you want to explore having one privately. You will be provided with all of the information so you can make an informed choice about what you want to do next.
Reviews (60 minutes)
Reviews can be completed to assess whether there has been any change in your swallowing. For some individuals, e.g. those who have had a stroke, you would typically expect their swallowing to get better in time. In individuals with a progressive condition, such as dementia, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neuron Disease etc., swallowing can become more difficult as the condition progresses. Reviews can be arranged as they are required.
Therapy for swallowing difficulties can vary greatly. Some people may benefit from exercises focusing on building strength in certain muscles, whereas others may benefit from 'practising' swallowing. During a swallowing assessment or review, it can be discussed whether you may benefit from any swallowing therapy approaches.
In order to be recommended some therapy exercises you would first need to have an instrumental assessment so that your swallowing is objectively assessed.
Please get in contact to discuss your needs.
Rachel Clare, Speech and Language Therapist
Speech Therapy Lincs Ltd
Company registered number: 11965293
Registered in England
94 Hewson Road, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN1 1RX