Information and guidance produced by the RCSLT in response to the pandemic, including clinical guidance, statements and the RCSLT COVID-19 webinar series.
RCSLT guidance produced in response to COVID-19
Reducing risk of transmission
- Transparent face masks – policy position statement (PDF) – 10 June 2022
- COVID-19: Reducing the risk of transmission (PDF) – 27 May 2022
- COVID-19 workplace risk assessment toolkit – 23 December 2021
Note: This new risk assessment tool, produced by the RCN in partnership with the RCSLT and others, has replaced previous RCSLT guidance on PPE and reducing the risk of transmission, as of December 2021. Read about the risk assessment tool.
- Guidance on priority groups for the transparent face mask – 29 October 2021
- RCSLT FAQs on face coverings (not PPE) (Word) – 15 August 2020
- Report on aerosol generating procedures, dysphagia assessment and COVID-19 (PDF) – 24 April 2020
- Supporting children and young people with communication and swallowing needs (PDF) – 23 December 2021
- Supporting adults with communication and swallowing needs (PDF) – 23 December 2021
- Statement on redeployment in future COVID-19 surges (PDF) – 25 November 2021
- Redeployment of staff and impact on outcomes for service users in future COVID-19 surges (PDF) – 14 October 2020
- RCSLT statement on critical workers (PDF) – 23 June 2020
- COVID-19: Maximising the contribution of the speech and language therapy workforce (PDF) – Updated 24 April 2020
- Routes back into the NHS – information for returning SLTs (PDF) – Updated on 15 April 2020
- Catch-up and recovery funding for schools in England – supporting speech, language and communication (a resource for SLTs to share with schools) (PDF) or (editable Word version) (31 March 2021)
- Practical tips and resources to overcome challenges in delivering children’s services during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF) – 1 October 2020
- Restoring services: Framework to support decision making (PDF) – 29 May 2020
- COVID-19 speech and language therapy rehabilitation pathway – updated November 2020
- RCSLT policy statement on speech and language therapy services (PDF) – 29 April 2020
- SLT-led endoscopic procedures in the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF) – updated April 2021
- Revised statement: Use of ultrasound for swallowing and upper airway assessment (PDF) – updated May 2022
- Clinical guidance for the management of total laryngectomy in the context of COVID-19 (PDF) – 4 November 2020
- Guidance on voice and upper airway disorders in the context of COVID-19 in adult and paediatric services (PDF) – 10 August 2020
- Videofluoroscopy in the context of COVID-19: interim guidance for speech and language therapists and service managers (PDF) – 1 July 2020
- Delivery of specialist 1:1 and group interventions for children and young people in education settings (PDF) Joint guidance from Government and professional bodies – 15 September 2021
- BLA and ENT UK Guidelines (endorsed by RCSLT): A graduated return to elective activities for Laryngology within the COVID-19 pandemic – 1 June 2020
- Multidisciplinary guidance for safe tracheostomy care during the COVID-19 pandemic – 12 May 2020
- Joint RCSLT and ASLTIP guidance for independent therapists (PDF) – 27 March 2020
The joint statement on PPE for those who care for people who regularly cough is being redrafted following helpful feedback received from a number of interested parties. A new statement will be issued as soon as possible.
- Urgent review of PPE and ventilation guidelines consistent with airborne transmission of COVID-19 (PDF) – 12 March 2021; response from the Scottish Government, March 2021 (PDF)
- Letter to Public Health England on shielding and protecting neck breathing patients (PDF) – 20 April 2020
- Provision of personal protective equipment for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) (PDF) – 2 April 2020
The Covid Airborne Protection Alliance (CAPA), of which RCSLT is a part, has written a number of letters to organisations and individuals, seeking clarification on issues relating to the pandemic:
- UK Health Security Agency (UKSHSA) (PDF)
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE), May 2022 (PDF)
- HSE, April 2022 (PDF); response from the HSE, May 2022 (PDF)
- HSE, November 2021 (PDF); response from the HSE, December 2021 (PDF)
- Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (PDF)
- The prime minister (PDF)
- First Minister of Scotland (PDF); response from the Scottish Government, April 2022 (PDF)
- The chief medical officers (PDF); response from the chief medical advisor, March 2022 (PDF); CAPA response, April 2022 (PDF)
- The chief nursing officers (PDF); response from deputy chief nursing officer, May 2022 (PDF)
- NHS Confederation (PDF)
The COVID-19 patient pathway for SLTs
This series of webinars takes you through the COVID-19 patient pathway from the speech and language perspective. In this series we look at how patients present at the intensive care unit (ICU), interventions in critical care, rehabilitation in the community, as well as how to look after yourself and sources of support.
Webinar 1: COVID-19: Critical Care for SLTs
- What is the disease? What do we know? Typical presentations of a patient in the COVID-19 critical care pathway
- How the COVID-19 ICU experience differs from the normal scope of practice
- Intubation, post extubation issues
- Tracheostomy management and weaning
Webinar 2: Practical and ethical decisions in adults with COVID-19
By attending this webinar you will gain an understanding of:
- The types patients with COVID-19 being seen on non-critical care wards.
- The types of clinical presentation that these patients have.
- Modifications to approaches to management including end of life care.
- Managing eating and drinking for those at risk of aspiration.
- Approaches to managing mental capacity assessment.
- Using ethical frameworks to support and inform decision making.
Webinar 3: Laryngectomy
By attending this webinar, delegates will learn about:
- How inpatient and outpatient laryngectomy services are being adapted in response to COVID-19.
- The use of personal protective equipment in laryngectomy services.
- Using telehealth to support laryngectomy patients.
- Managing patients’ anxiety during the crisis.
Webinar 4: Rehabilitation
By attending this webinar, you will gain an understanding of:
- Clinical presentations and rehab needs of COVID-19 patients.
- The RCSLT/Intensive Care Society Rehabilitation Pathway.
- Partnership working for rehabilitation.
- How SLTs are making a positive impact.
Webinar 5: Telehealth
After attending this webinar, delegates will have:
- The evidence base for telehealth pre-COVID-19.
- An understanding of what telehealth looks like now, in the context of COVID-19.
- The new RCSLT telehealth guidance, including practical how-to advice.
- Examples in adult services, looking at dysphagia and risk assessment.
- The patient experience of telehealth services.
Webinar 6: Telehealth in the COVID-19 context working with children
After attending this webinar, delegates will have:
- Knowledge of how SLTs are delivering tele therapy to children in the context of COVID-19.
- Practical ideas, examples and case studies to support your practice.
- An understanding of how to address issues of patient choice and technology access.
- Up to the minute research on SLTs’ use of telehealth.
RCSLT webinar: Improving Stroke Care – The impact of COVID present and future
By attending this webinar, delegates will gain an understanding of:
- Adapting to service provision in light of COVID-19.
- Continuing to meet stroke targets in the new “normal”.
- Community provision of therapy including using different assessments and remote provision of therapy.
- Working in multidisciplinary teams to deliver patient care pathways.
RCSLT open access guidance
The following guidance is available to read online without a member login:
Frequently asked questions
For further information for RCSLT members, visit our frequently asked questions.
The RCSLT will continue to keep members updated.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
RCSLT advice services
If you have a query about any aspect of your clinical practice, the RCSLT can put you in touch with one of our clinical advisers, who can help you try to resolve your issue.
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you would like to make use of this valuable service.
RCN publication on standard and transmission-based precautions
This publication looks objectively at the methodology and interpretation of the guidelines we have all been struggling to influence for the last two years, during the pandemic.
‘Raising the Bar’ is a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) commissioned review of national and international guidelines and the evidence they present to underpin standard and transmission-based precautions. It was written by Professor Dinah Gould, Dr Edward Purssell and Rose Gallagher, professional lead for infection prevention and control at the RCN.
Relevance to SLTs
The COVID-19 pandemic emphasised concerns and highlighted opportunities regarding infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance. This publication has been written to support all healthcare professionals, including SLTs, in delivering care where infection risk is present to both themselves and their patients.
Read the full document.