What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. They work with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors.

In what setting do speech and language therapists work?

Speech and language therapists work in a wide variety of settings and with a wide range of people, including the NHS, youth justice, schools, private sector, etc. Please see our website here for more information.

How can I access speech therapy?

There are a number of ways that you are able to access speech therapy or a speech therapist, depending on whether you are looking for an NHS therapist or a private (independent) therapist.

If you are looking to access speech therapy through the NHS there are 2 main ways of doing this:

  1. Ask your GP for a referral to see a local speech therapist
  2. You can refer yourself into your local NHS service, you would need to find the contact details for your local service (see below for a link to the NHS Choices website where you can search for this information) and contact them to ask to self-refer.


Once you have been referred, or have referred yourself into an NHS service, your referral will be assessed and prioritised by the local speech therapy team and you will be added to their waiting list, depending on this priority.

If you are looking to access a private (independent) therapist you can search therapists in your local area by postcode through our sister organisation; the Association of Speech therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP). Included below is a link to their website, where you can input your postcode and age range and it will show you all therapists in your local area and their contact details.


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