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Advice and Referrals

We offer a telephone advice line for queries relating to children and young people which operates between 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm on Wednesdays during term time. Any parent, carer, young person, or professional can ring this advice line to discuss any concerns about speech or language development: Telephone: 01225 831752.

We have an open referral system so that parents, carers, and young people can contact us directly to make a referral for communication difficulties. We also accept referrals from other people (e.g. Health Visitors, school staff, GPs) but only if consent has been obtained from the parent/carer or, where appropriate, from the young person themselves.

Please Note: if the child you are concerned about is under 3 years old, please discuss this referral with their Health Visitor, first. We may still be able to see the child for assessment; however, they will need to have had additional input from the Health Visiting team or Children’s Centre.

If you would like to make a referral, please contact us on our advice phone line or email:

Dysphagia Referrals
As well as seeing children with communication needs, speech and language therapists can also be involved with children who have eating, drinking and swallowing needs due to a physical difficulty. Dysphagia is the term we use when someone has difficulty in these areas. We only see children whose difficulties are physical, for example children with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy or other neurological conditions. We do not see children whose difficulties are behavioural.

HCRG Care Group provides a service to children with dysphagia in the community once they are 2 years old. Prior to that they would be seen by the speech and language therapist at the Royal United Hospital – this is a link to their website – click here. If the child you have concerns about is over 2 and has a physical eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty please contact your health visitor, school nurse, GP or paediatrician to make a referral to us.

If your child’s eating and drinking difficulties are behavioural please also discuss with your health visitor, school nurse, Paediatrician or GP who will be able to signpost you to the appropriate services.


Everyone accepted for referral to our service is entitled to an individual speech and language assessment. This may be via a telephone, video, or a face to face consultation. Following this assessment, the therapist will provide feedback and advice (usually in the form of a written report) about the child/young person’s speech, language and communication skills.

Families and/or the young person can expect to be fully involved in any decisions about what, if any, further action should be taken. We have a number of care pathways, which describe the speech and language support the family can expect, depending on the child’s/young person’s individual needs.