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At the beginning August, the RCSLT announced a forthcoming survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s access to speech and language therapy.

Since then, we have consulted with service user organisations on the survey questions, and have started work on making the survey accessible in a range of formats. The survey will also be available in Welsh.

We hope to launch the survey soon, and plan to keep it open until early in the new year.

Why are we doing this?

The RCSLT has been concerned about how the pandemic may have affected people’s access to speech and language therapy. We want to hear from service users about their experiences, how they feel and what they think about the future.

The survey also builds on a long-standing RCSLT ambition to work with service users regarding their experiences of speech and language therapy. This has been a regular theme highlighted to us by service user organisations during previous engagement workshops.

We are pleased to now have the opportunity to make that ambition a reality – at a time when accessing speech and language therapy is more important than ever for people of all ages, and at all stages of their lives.

How are we doing this?

Once the survey is available online, we will be working with service user organisations to promote it to their beneficiaries. We will also be promoting it across a range of RCSLT platforms.

But we need your help, too!

If you're a speech and language therapist, you can help in a number of ways:

  • Promoting the survey to your clients and local service user organisations
  • Helping us translate the questions into different languages
  • Supporting the RCSLT’s social media work around the survey

If you're someone who receives speech and language therapy, or a family member or carer of someone who does, you can also help:

  • By filling out the survey once it's available – including giving us permission to contact you about your story, if you wish
  • By promoting the survey to other people you know who receive speech and language therapy
  • By supporting the RCSLT’s social media work on the survey

How we will use the information?

Dr Judy Clegg from the University of Sheffield will be analysing the survey findings for us, and we hope to publish them in early 2021.

The findings will help us to make the case to governments across the United Kingdom for more speech and language therapy support, if and where it is identified as needed. The findings should also support our understanding of the impact of new ways of accessing speech and language therapy, and what people think about them.

The findings will be the basis for the RCSLT’s influencing work across the United Kingdom, including with service users and the organisations that work with them. We also look forward to working with members on this workstream, and will provide more updates as the survey progresses.

How can I get more information?

If you would like more information, please email peter.just@rcslt.org or padraigin.oflynn@rcslt.org.