Upper airway disorders within adult respiratory services – influencing and campaigning
Take a look at our information and resources to influence your local decision makers and budget holders and raise awareness of the role of speech and language therapy in working with upper airway disorders within adult respiratory services.
Last updated: November 2021
Speech and language therapy for patients with upper airway disorders improves patient-reported quality of life and reduces healthcare use significantly; patients should have equitable access to appropriately trained SLTs.
SLTs should actively promote the role and contribution of speech and language therapy provision in upper airway disorders. Influencing and campaigning locally, regionally and nationally is recommended to support access to funding within respiratory services.
To date the number of funded SLTs working in upper airway disorders within respiratory service is unknown. However, there has been a marked expansion in speech and language therapy provision within the last decade. Further, there has been an increased recognition by other professionals of the value of SLTs to support patients with upper airway disorders. Specifically, collaborative links between the RCSLT and the British Thoracic Society (BTS) are now well established; the speech and language therapy workforce can now become members of the BTS and are actively encouraged to contribute to BTS professional activities.
Despite this progress, access to funding within the UK remains challenging and there is inequity of access to speech and language therapy provision for patients with upper airway disorders. More work is needed to highlight the benefits of speech and language therapy to help to mitigate this. Support from respiratory colleagues is essential to improve business case proposals and service developments.
Influencing stakeholders and campaigning