19 May 2023

We’re urging our members to take part in The Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC)  major conditions strategy

The DHSC have opened their call for evidence which will inform their major conditions strategy for England. The major conditions strategy covers people living with cancer, stroke, dementia, mental health conditions and chronic respiratory diseases including upper airway disorders: conditions which share speech, language, communication and swallowing needs.

The call for evidence seeks our views on how to improve support to people across the entire life cycle, from pre-conception and childhood through to older age. It asks for solutions to improve prevention, and diagnosis and to support people to live well and age well. It also has aspirations to tackle both health inequalities and improve access to treatment and services. We urge all speech and language therapists working in England to get in touch with the RCSLT to share their experiences and help shape this work.


Our view

Many people live with more than one health condition and the way the strategy interacts is crucial to promote integration, address health inequalities and avoid siloed ideas. Joined up health, social care, education and primary care teams will help people to live well and independently in their preferred place and help to prevent the deterioration of their health and wellbeing.

Having enough speech and language therapists in the workforce, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills will be critical to improve people’s outcomes. Against the backdrop of significant vacancies across the profession, highlighted in our recent report on workforce planning in England, Fail to plan, plan to fail , we wish to see the workforce needs addressed in the final strategy.


How the RCSLT has engaged so far

The RCSLT engaged with the work strands on cancer and mental health and wellbeing last year and we are pleased that the Government has shared the results of this work.

Our Chief Executive, Steve Jamieson, has also recently written to the Secretary of State, highlighting the role of speech and language therapists in the major conditions and offering to help develop the strategy. Read RCSLT CEO Steve Jamieson’s letter to Steve Barclay MP (PDF)


How you can get involved

We’re asking all speech and language therapists in England to help shape our response to this call for evidence.


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