21 July 2021

The RCSLT’s Board of Trustees met this month. As well as receiving formal papers and reports for discussion and decision, they talked about a range of big issues for the profession. This included setting an ambitious new strategy for the profession and the RCSLT, and increasing diversity in speech and language therapy.

The Board had a lively discussion about a report they commissioned into increasing the diversity of the RCSLT’s Board and committees. All Board members agreed on the urgent need to create a diverse, inclusive Board to lead the profession into the future.

They voted to make a number of significant changes, for example reviewing the way we make RCSLT Board appointments and actively developing future leaders, including by funding members from backgrounds which are currently underrepresented on Board to attend the Future Leaders programme. Members will be asked to vote on whether to create a Nominations Committee at the AGM in November.

The Board also heard a report on listening sessions held with members and service users over the last few months. At the sessions, members reflected on their goals for the speech and language therapy profession and the steps needed to achieve them.

The Board heard that members want to focus on: improving equality, diversity and inclusion; ensuring adequate funding of services and SLT training; supporting mental health and wellbeing; recovering from the pandemic; growing research and evidence capacity; tackling social disadvantage; addressing issues around telehealth and technology, and digital exclusion; developing the workforce; and promoting the value of speech and language therapy.

Forty organisations representing service users also took part in the listening sessions. Their priorities were to increase the availability and amount of speech and language therapy on offer, increase the accessibility of services, and to raise awareness of speech and language therapy.

The Board and staff will work together to develop a new five year vision based on all the feedback gathered from members, service users and staff.

The meeting was the first to be held as a hybrid event, with half the Board coming together in Derbyshire and the other half joining virtually.

We encourage all members to help to shape the future of the profession and develop their own careers by getting involved in the RCSLT’s work. Joining a hub or clinical excellence network is a great way to start.

If you’d like to find out more about the Board meeting, the minutes are available to all members on request. Please email info@rcslt.org