Guidance produced in response to COVID-19
Reducing risk of transmission
- RCSLT guidance on reducing the risk of transmission and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of COVID-19 (PDF) – 26 January 2021
- RCSLT policy statement: Transparent face masks (PDF) (see also: NHS England note regarding the use of ClearMasks (PDF) – 22 September 2020
- RCSLT FAQs on face coverings (not PPE) (Word) – 15 August 2020
- RCSLT Statement: PPE and aerosol generating procedures (Word) – 15 June 2020
- Statement: Introducing the report on aerosol generating procedures, dysphagia assessment and COVID-19 (PDF) – 24 April 2020
- Report on aerosol generating procedures, dysphagia assessment and COVID-19 (PDF) – 24 April 2020
- Catch-up funding for schools in England – supporting speech, language and communication (a resource for SLTs to share with schools) (Word) – 14 October 2020
- 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
- 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
- Revised statement: Use of ultrasound for swallowing and upper airway assessment (PDF) – February 2021
- Clinical guidance for the management of total laryngectomy in the context of COVID-19 (PDF) – 4 November 2020
- Speech and language therapist-led endoscopic procedures in the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF) (updated) – 16 October 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
- Joint RCSLT and ASLTIP guidance for independent therapists
- Multidisciplinary guidance for safe tracheostomy care during the COVID-19 pandemic
- BLA and ENT UK Guidelines (endorsed by RCSLT): A graduated return to elective activities for Laryngology within the COVID-19 pandemic
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. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact Kim Hartley Kean, head of RCSLT Scotland Office, at email@example.com.
The COVID-19 patient pathway for SLTs
Join the RCSLT for a series of webinars taking you through the COVID-19 patient pathway from the speech and language perspective. In this series we will look at everything from how patients present at the intensive care unit (ICU); to interventions in critical care; to rehabilitation in the community; to 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
- 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:
- How SLTs are delivering tele therapy to children in the context of COVID-19
- Practical ideas, examples and case studies to support your practice
- 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
COVID-19 speech and language therapy data collection
COVID-19 Data Collection Tool
The RCSLT has developed a dataset and a data collection tool to support the speech and language therapy profession with capturing data on the management of patients with confirmed and suspected COVID-19. Visit our page about the COVID-19 Data Collection Tool to:
- Download the spreadsheet and accompanying resources
- Register your SLT service to submit data to the national database and access reports
- Find out more about how you can collect this data if you are already using the RCSLT Online Outcome Tool
If you have any feedback or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding the mid- to long-term speech and language therapy needs associated with COVID-19
This survey has been developed to gain an insight into members’ experiences of working with individuals who have/had speech and language therapy needs at least 12 weeks after the onset of COVID-19. This includes people who:
- had either confirmed or suspected COVID-19;
- had/have speech and language therapy needs (which are caused or exacerbated by COVID-19) at least 12 weeks after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, irrespective of whether they had identified needs prior to this time; and,
- were/are receiving rehabilitation for their speech and language therapy needs in an inpatient setting, outpatient setting and/or in the community.
The data gathered via this survey will be used by the RCSLT to help us understand the demand on speech and language therapy services. This will inform our workforce planning, influencing and lobbying work.
The deadline for responding to this survey is Wednesday 10 March, 5pm. We estimate that it will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete if you have prepared the information you need in advance of starting this survey. This document provides a summary of the questions to assist with this.
RCSLT survey: Impact of the pandemic on service provision
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
Please click here to complete our most recent survey.
We estimate that the survey should take you about 10-15 minutes to complete. The deadline for responding is 24 February 2021.
We recognise that some of the questions in this survey, particularly those relating to your wellbeing, may ask about issues that some members find upsetting and/or do not wish to respond to. It is not compulsory to respond to any of the questions in the survey. Information and resources to support you and your wellbeing are available here.
Should you have any questions about the survey, please contact email@example.com
Initial survey: April 2020
The first in a series of surveys was held in April 2020. A report summarising the findings of the survey is available to download here. A more detailed exploration of the findings is available in the August 2020 issue of Bulletin. The full tables of results can be downloaded here.
Follow-up survey: August/September 2020
In August, 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:
- Overview of the survey
- The impact on service users – click here and here
- The impact on speech and language therapy caseloads
- Delivering services remotely
- Workforce capacity and service priorities
Should you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.