As part of our work to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the speech and language therapy profession, the individuals it serves and provision of services, the RCSLT has surveyed its members over the course of the pandemic to explore how the pandemic has:

  • resulted in changes to the role of speech and language therapists
  • had an impact on individual professionals
  • changed the ways in which services are delivered
  • had an impact on individuals on existing speech and language therapy caseloads

The first in a series of surveys was held in April 2020.

A more detailed exploration of the findings is available in the August 2020 issue of Bulletin.

Should you have any questions, please contact info@rcslt.org.

In August 2020, we launched a second survey, in order to monitor change over the course of the pandemic. A summary of the key findings is presented in the following infographics:

Should you have any questions, please contact info@rcslt.org.

The third survey in this series was launched in February 2021, and included questions specifically about RCSLT members’ wellbeing.

503 RCSLT members responded to the survey between 10 February and 24 February 2021. Responses were received from members working with children, young people and adults across the UK.

The impact on RCSLT members’ wellbeing

Of the 503 people who responded to the survey:

  • 83% reported that they have felt overwhelmed at work since the beginning of the pandemic
  • 85% reported an increase in anxiety since March 2020
  • 81% reported an increase in low mood since the beginning of the pandemic
  • 76% reported an increase in exhaustion since March 2020
  • 74% reported that they had had concerns about at least one aspect of their safety at work since December 2020
  • 47% reported that they had sought help for their wellbeing since the start of the pandemic

Information and resources to support your health and wellbeing are available here.

The positive changes as a result of the pandemic

  • 69% of respondents reported that they spend less time travelling
  • 63% reported that harnessing new technology to delivery speech and language therapy was a positive change
  • 60% reported learning new skills

The impact on service users 

  • Over three-quarters of respondents reported that they have felt worried about the impact that the pandemic is having on service users.
  • Over half reported that there were service users on their caseload who were not receiving intervention, but would have done so before December 2020.
  • The survey asked about the barriers service users faced in accessing services. The most frequently reported reasons were:
    1. Telehealth not appropriate
    2. Service user cannot access telehealth
    3. Individuals did not wish to continue with intervention at that time

The impact on speech and language therapy services 

Of the 503 RCSLT members who responded to the survey:

  • 28% reported that their speech and language therapy service operated with reduced capacity (staffing) between the start of December 2020 and February 2021.
  • 33% reported that waiting lists had increased between the start of December 2020 and February 2021.
  • 60% reported an increase in their workload since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should you have any questions, please contact info@rcslt.org.

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