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Speech and Language Therapist

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Bury St Edmunds
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum
Closing date
29 Nov 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 6
Full Time
B6 Speech & Language Therapist

37.5hours per week

1 Year Fixed Term Contract

A vacancy has arisen for a band 6 Speech and Language Therapist (1 year fixed term in the first instance) to join our thriving team of Speech and Language Therapists working with adults in acute and community settings across West Suffolk.

This role offers the successful candidate the opportunity to consolidate skills and knowledge with a range of patients with communication and swallowing difficulties on a rotational basis across acute and community services in West Suffolk. Each rotation will give you the opportunity with support as required to develop a wide knowledge base and a range of skills within the field of adult acquired disorders. You will work closely with our team of Speech and Language Therapists and as part of the multidisciplinary team at West Suffolk Hospital and the Disability Resource Centre. Senior colleagues will support your learning and development. There will be an opportunity to discuss preference in starting rotation for the right candidate.

Main duties of the job

To fulfil the role of senior Speech and Language Therapist, you will have experience of working in the assessment, differential diagnosis and management of dysphagia and communication impairments in the hospital and/or community setting. You will display excellent communication, training, organisational and teamwork skills. You will also participate in provision of student placements and clinical supervision of junior colleagues.

West Suffolk SALT is a large team which is fully integrated across hospital and community services embedded within therapy services. We are committed to professional development and evidence-based practice which is demonstrated through regular departmental and joint training sessions, the employment of new initiatives and the constant review and improvement of the service. We are excited to be actively participating in research and are currently running a project in our emergency department.

Applicants must have current HCPC and RCSLT registration and be able to show evidence of continuing professional development.

Bury St Edmunds is a historic town with modern leisure facilities and a good mix of housing is available. The town has excellent transport links with easy road and rail access. The West Suffolk NHS Foundation trust actively supports the well-being of all employees.

For informal enquiries, please contact Liza Asti Professional Lead Speech and Language Therapist: 01284 713303

About us

#BeKnown at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. By us. By our patients. By our community

We are a busy, friendly, rural NHS Trust providing high-quality care and compassion to more than a quarter of a million people across west Suffolk. We care for, treat and support people in hospital, at home and in various community settings.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds provides acute and secondary care services (emergency department, maternity and neonatal services, day surgery unit, eye treatment centre, Macmillan unit and children's ward). It has 500+ beds and is a partner teaching hospital of the University of Cambridge.

Adult and paediatric community services, provided in collaboration with West Suffolk Alliance partners, include a range of nursing, therapy, specialist, and ongoing temporary care and rehabilitation, some at our Newmarket Community Hospital.

We do our utmost to achieve outstanding clinical outcomes for patients and our values of fairness, inclusivity, respect, safety and team work guide how we work and behave as a team.

With nearly 5,000 staff, from all over the world, we strive to make our organisation a great place to work. Whatever your role or ambition, we want to help you be the best you can be.

We promote a diverse and inclusive community where everyones voice counts and you can #BeKnown for whoever you are.

Join us. What will you #BeKnown for?

Job description

Job responsibilities

Please see job description for full details.

  • The purpose of this post is to provide a specialist level of expertise in the assessment and management of adult patients with the full range of communication and swallowing disorders. The post holder will be based at West Suffolk Hospital and the Disability Resource Centre as needed.
  • To use specialist knowledge to diagnose and manage patients with complex dysphagia via a range of formal and informal assessment techniques, where the therapist identifies this as appropriate.
  • To undertake specialist assessments utilising developed clinical observation and judgement, combined with specialist theoretical knowledge, whilst taking a holistic perspective of the clients needs.
  • To formulate and implement therapy programmes for patients, involving the use of specific techniques and remediation programmes, reflecting best practice.
  • To use assessment findings to provide differential diagnosis, seeking advice as appropriate, and to then determine treatment options for the client group.
  • To support medical team and MDT in establishing clients capacity to participate in making decisions.
  • To evaluate outcomes and provide advice to others regarding the management and care of adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.
  • To work independently, without direct supervision, in the assessment and management of routine and some complex dysphagia and communication patients.
  • To manage an autonomous clinical caseload without direct supervision of senior staff. To be able to prioritise own caseload to adapt to staff absences. To be flexible according to the demands of the overall Speech and Language Therapy Service.
  • To provide timely information, written and verbal, and advice regarding diagnosis, treatment aims and progress of patients to referrers, clients, carers and other professional staff, taking into account confidentiality and the complex and sensitive nature of the information imparted, and the needs of the recipients.
  • To work jointly with other professionals within the multi-disciplinary team and attend MDT meetings/joint case conferences as required.
  • To work as an autonomous clinical practitioner in an inpatient, outpatient and community setting as required, seeking advice and support from senior colleagues where necessary, i.e. with complex clinical issues and management/legal issues. To be professionally and legally responsible and accountable for the management of patients in your care
  • To regularly support videofluoroscopy clinic, taking an active role in evaluations, analysing images, writing detailed specialist reports and providing full feedback to patients, families and the MDT.
  • To attend professional meetings, departmental meetings and represent the department at hospital operational meetings as requested.
  • To be prepared to work flexible hours when requested in response to the needs of the service.
  • To be an active participant in Bank Holiday and weekend working as this develops within the service.

Person Specification



  • Experience of working in an acute hospital and / or community environment.
  • Experience of working with stroke patients
  • Experience of working as part of a MDT and liaising with other agencies.
  • Portfolio of CPD evidence relevant to post.
  • Independent bedside assessment of dysphagia.
  • Differential diagnosis of patients with multiple aetiologies
  • Experience of case conferences.
  • Experience of independent case management.


  • Experience of working in various clinical settings.
  • Experience of supervising staff
  • Experience of facilitating mental capacity assessments.
  • Involvement in audit/clinical governance within SALT
  • Experience of working with pts with voice disorders

Education & Qualification


  • RCSLT recognised degree or equivalent.
  • Eligible for registered membership of RCSLT.
  • HPC membership.
  • Independent Dysphagia Practitioner.


  • Relevant postgraduate short courses

Skills & Knowledge


  • Knowledge of evidence based practice in relation to swallowing and communication disorders.
  • Specialist knowledge of neurologically impaired patients, and current approaches to treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Knowledge of respiratory conditions and their effect on swallowing and current approaches to assessment and treatment
  • Detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the swallow to synthesise and collate information from cranial nerve assessment and bedside assessment of the swallow to form hypothesise regarding patient status.
  • Knowledge of videofluoroscopy analyse images and prepare detailed specialist reports with support.
  • An ability to develop and deliver work programmes for individuals and groups.
  • Knowledge and use of outcome measures
  • Highly developed communication/interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills, including word processing.
  • Ability to manage time and prioritise workload effectively
  • Teaching and training other staff
  • Ability to manage operational aspects of the acute service in absence of senior clinicians as requested.
  • Knowledge of changes in the NHS and current legislation.


  • Ability to manage tracheostomy dependent patients independently.
  • Completion of videofluoroscopy competencies to allow for independent practice in clinics.
  • Knowledge of FEES.
  • Attendance in MDT voice clinics
  • Attendance at specialist voice SIGs/courses
  • Specialist knowledge of voice disorders + current approaches to assessment, diagnosis and therapy.
  • Knowledge of swallowing in critical care dependent patients.

Personal Qualities


  • Developed critical appraisal skills, with insight into own strengths and weaknesses and development.
  • Committed to personal development.
  • Flexible approach to working hours and duties
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to pass knowledge and skills on to others.
  • Able to maintain judgement under pressure.
  • Pragmatic
  • Good time keeping


  • Ability to travel to rural locations to carry out post

Employer details

Employer name

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust


West Suffolk Hospital

Bury St Edmunds


Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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