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The delivery and measurement of the outcomes associated with speech and language therapy is an essential component of delivering effective and high-quality services.

Here you will find resources about outcome measurement, including information about the role of outcome measurement in speech and language therapy and the RCSLT Outcomes Programme.

Outcome measurement in speech and language therapy

The measurement of the outcomes associated with speech and language therapy is an essential component of delivering effective and high quality services. Outcome measurement is core to:
  • Delivering evidence-based and person-centred services.
  • Evaluating clinical effectiveness and supporting quality improvement.
  • Demonstrating the impact of speech and language therapy.
Outcome measurement is also a requirement of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
The HCPC is an independent, UK-wide regulatory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards of professional training, performance and conduct for the 16 healthcare professions that it regulates, including speech and language therapists (SLTs).
Registration is a legal requirement for all practising SLTs, who must adhere to the following HCPC standards:

HCPC standards stipulate that registrants are “able to evaluate intervention plans using recognised outcome measures and revise the plans as necessary in conjunction with the service-user” (HCPC 2013:11).

The HCPC also expects registrants to “be aware of the role of audit and review in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance and the use of appropriate outcome measures” (HCPC 2013:11).

RCSLT Outcomes Programme

The RCSLT is undertaking an innovative and ambitious programme of work to support speech and language therapists with delivering and measuring effective outcomes.

The RCSLT Outcomes Programme comprises a number of parallel workstreams, and includes our work on developing the RCSLT Online Outcome Tool to support the speech and language therapy profession.

To find out more about the RCSLT’s journey with outcome measurement, please contact Kathryn Moyse.

Summary of recommendations

To support best-practice in relation to outcome measurement, it is recommended that speech and language therapists are aware of the importance of:

  • The routine measurement of the outcomes of therapy, using an appropriate approach and tools.
  • The use of validated outcome measurement tools.
  • Capturing the service-user’s perspective on their outcomes and their experience of care.
  • Using outcome data in the context of other data and alongside other available tools, frameworks and resources, to support the delivery of quality services.
  • Outcome measurement being embedded within a model of working that emphasises the need for reflection, and that holds the notion of health benefits and outcomes as an integral part of practice.
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