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
National Policy and Guidance
- In response to a parliamentary question, the UK government has put on the record that: “Speech and language therapists are recognised as integral to the multi-disciplinary workforce delivering care and support to people with post-COVID-19 syndrome.”
- NHS England national commissioning guidance for post-COVID services (2022) “Post COVID services should provide integrated, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services, based on local need and resources.” “Speech and language therapists provide holistic assessments to identify the specific needs of the patient and agree a personalised plan with them. They support the rehabilitation and self-management of individuals with common post COVID-19 symptoms, including cognitive communication (‘brain fog’), swallowing, voice (including muscle tension dysphonia) and respiratory difficulties.”
- NICE Guideline COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 (2022) “Provide integrated, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services, based on local need and resources. Healthcare professionals should have a range of specialist skills, with expertise in managing fatigue and respiratory symptoms (including breathlessness).” “Additional expertise may be needed depending on the age and symptoms of the person.” “Areas of expertise could also include, but are not limited to, rheumatology, neurology rehabilitation, cardiology, paediatrics, dietetics, speech and language therapy, nursing, pharmacy, social care and support to return to education or work or usual activities.”
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.
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:
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE), May 2022 (PDF)
- HSE, April 2022 (PDF); response from the HSE, May 2022 (PDF)
- Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (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)
RCSLT open access guidance
The following guidance is available to read online without a member login:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Long COVID training programme HEE
The Long COVID Programme at NHS England has developed a training programme for healthcare professionals working within specialist post COVID services for adults. This programme was created by multiple healthcare professionals including, nurses, physios, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, pharmacists and physicians. The hope is that it will help have up to date training resources to access, provide a quality service, and improve knowledge in the clinical management of long COVID.