Guidance produced in response to COVID-19

Reducing risk of transmission

Restoring services


Clinical guidance

Joint publications

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


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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

Q&A document – COVID-19: Critical Care for SLTs (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

Q&A document – COVID-19: Practical and ethical decisions in adults (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

Download the list of references (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

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

Watch the webinar in full

Download the presentation (PDF)

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 

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

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:

Should you have any questions, please contact

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  if you would like to make use of this valuable service.

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