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Highly Specialist Speech & Language Therapist Complex Needs Dysphagia

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
St Albans
£43,742 to £50,056 a year pro rata
Closing date
4 Jul 2024

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Mental health
Band 7
Contract Type
Part Time
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust's Children and Young People's Therapies (CYPT) Service is excited to be offering a new Band 7 opportunity within it's Speech and Language Therapy Team. We are looking to recruit to an experienced SLT with specialist skills in dysphagia, and who has experience working with children and young people (CYP) with complex communication needs associated with a range of medical conditions, including those who require Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC).

This permanent post is 0.6 WTE. The postholder will hold a clinical caseload within a specialist school for pupils with a wide range of complex and profound learning difficulties in St Albans, and also provide clinical support for CYP across the West Herts community (St Albans/Hemel Hempstead). They will also provide professional support to less experienced SLT/SLT Assistants in the locality area. The postholder will be expected to work autonomously and as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team.

If you are looking to extend your leadership skills and continue to develop your specialist clinical skills, this opportunity could be just right for you.

Main duties of the job

  • Work within a multidisciplinary team in a specialist provision, working with other health, education, and social care professionals, to carry out specialist assessments of CYP with complex communication needs, including AAC and eating and drinking needs.
  • Provide eating and drinking management plans to minimise aspiration risk and optimise safe and efficient eating and drinking, including referrals onto other services as required / indicated.
  • Complete communication assessments as part of the EHCP process.
  • Provide second opinions for children with complex needs and/or eating and drinking needs attending mainstream schools and other specialist provisions.
  • Work collaboratively with highly specialist SLT colleagues to ensure best practice and and delivery of high quality care systems.
  • Provide professional support and supervision to less experienced colleagues and support the development of dysphagia competencies within the teams as indicated/appropriate.

We offer:
  • Regular group professional supervision and peer support.
  • Working as part of a supportive team of highly specialist SLTs.
  • Regular managerial supervision and a well-established appraisal system.
  • Internal and external CPD opportunities such as bitesize tutorials, peer review, CENs.
  • A 2 week induction period to observe/shadow colleagues across a range of clinical areas/settings.
  • Regular meetings with Clinical Quality Leads and Operational Leads to plan and implement service delivery and service development.

About us

  • If you are looking for somewhere to make a real difference and are passionate about helping CYP access the right support at the right time to help them stay safe, and thrive in their development, a career with us may be just what you're looking for. At HCT we strive to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of our communities.
  • We are proud to be an organisation which focuses on our people, and we welcome people who share our values to come and work with us.
  • Our shared values support the development of a strong working culture, guiding and inspiring all of our actions and decisions. They enable us to be better at what we do ensuring we provide the highest quality of care to our patients.
  • Our patients, their families and carers are at the centre of our vision - Outstanding Services and Healthier Communities.
  • Our staff are proud to be Innovative, Caring and Agile in their work to help achieve the Trust vision.
  • We welcome diversity in our workforce and are interested in applicants from all backgrounds and ages.
  • You've made a great decision to apply to join to HCT - we're looking forward to taking the next steps of the journey with you.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Please see Job Description attached, which details the responsibilities within this post.

You will be joining an innovative and agile CYP Therapies service committed to delivering high quality care and transforming lives. Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust provides Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Services for families across the county. Our service is jointly commissioned by health and education, allowing us to provide a seamless pathway of care from early years through to schools, specialist provisions and further education settings.

Successful candidates will be enthusiastic and motivated. Advanced communication, clinical reasoning and organisational skills are essential. You must be a team player but be able to work autonomously and have the ability to champion the needs of children and young people through upskilling the wider workforce. As a highly specialist SLT, there will be opportunities for you to facilitate professional supervision groups and provide managerial supervision to less experienced colleagues.

You will be joining a well-established, supportive team of therapists and assistants. CYP Therapies at HCT pride ourselves on the support we provide to staff. Please see below comments from a current member of the team:

I love working in CYPT/HCT - everyone in the team is super dedicated. There is strong management support, but also space for being flexible and creative to meet childrens needs innovation & good practice is valued and encouraged. I enjoy & appreciate the robust supervision structures, training in supervision & coaching, and the many opportunities for personal development and learning, including for example in-house training days and tutorials. I have worked in many teams across Hertfordshire, all without exception friendly and welcoming. There is an ethos of peer support and encouragement & sharing learning everyone works hard but there is a sense of belonging and always time for a quick chat and plenty of laughs. I feel valued here and I value my lovely colleagues and the fabulous children & young people we work with.

If you have any questions at all or you would like to come and visit us, please do contact us - we are only too happy to help and would love to tell you more about our Service.

Applications for full time and part time work will be considered. A full valid driving licence and access to a car to use regularly for business purposes is essential (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010).

In addition to the basic salary, this post attracts a High Cost Area Supplement of 5% of basic salary subject to a minimum payment of �1,192 and a maximum payment of �2,011 per annum (pro rata where applicable and dependent on base location).

If you would like to contact us for further information about this post, please contact Katie Tucker, Operational Manager, on 07833 237273.

Person Specification

Qualifications and Training


  • Degree or equivalent in Speech and Language Therapy with experience and highly specialist knowledge in paediatric speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) acquired through further theoretical training, and experience to Master's level or equivalent relevant to complex communication needs and Paediatric dysphagia.
  • Continued Professional Development in the area of dysphagia as evidenced by attendance at specialist postgraduate courses, Specialist Dysphagia Practitioner competencies (RCSLT eating, drinking and swallowing competency framework) and relevant CENs to maintain and develop specialist knowledge and expertise.
  • Recognised Speech and Language Therapy Degree Qualification or equivalent (post graduate diploma or MSc in Speech and Language Therapy leading to registration with HCPC)
  • HCPC Licence to Practice, Registered member of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Membership of relevant CEN.

Experience and Knowledge


  • Experience of carrying out complex dysphagia assessments and differential diagnosis in identifying aspiration risk to provide comprehensive management plan to effectively optimise safe and efficient eating and drinking, including referrals into other service professionals as required
  • Experience of delivering specialist training to peers and other professionals in the area of eating and drinking/dysphagia.
  • In depth and expert knowledge of a range of appropriate assessment tools and therapeutic interventions relevant to the service, and high level clinical skills in assessment, diagnosis and intervention.
  • Working knowledge of electronic patient record system.
  • Evidence of involvement in service policy development in area of specialism.
  • Knowledge of NHS, Education Policy and directives including Tribunals where these impact on area of specialism or service delivery.
  • Experience of supervising students and less experienced staff.


  • To demonstrate some knowledge of power-based AAC including hardware, software and access methods and have experience of supporting CYP with complex needs who require a range of AAC.

Skills and abilities


  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written, including the ability to liaise and negotiate
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels across organisations and with a range of audiences.
  • Knowledge of barriers to understanding and ability to explain complex issues simply.
  • Able to analyse and interpret complex data
  • Excellent group presentation skills both written and verbal, as well as computer literate including use of Excel spreadsheets, databases and PowerPoint, Word.
  • Knowledge of barriers to understanding & ability to explain complex issues simply.



  • Hold a full valid driving licence and access to a car to use regularly for business purposes is essential (unless you have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010).

Employer details

Employer name

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust


Sandridge Gate

St Albans


Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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