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Specialist Speech & Language Therapist

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
£28,407 to £42,618 per annum
Closing date
23 Jul 2024

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Mental health
Band 5
Contract Type
Full Time
An exciting opportunity has arisen for committed and caring individual to join the Warrington Community Learning Disability Team. You will be based at Wakefield house, Warrington. The post holder will provide Speech & Language Therapy assessment and interventions as part of a team approach.

We are interested in appointing either a newly qualified Therapist (Band 5) or Specialist (Band 6) for this post. An interest in the development of Dysphagia competencies is essential. As a band 5 training will be provided and progression to Band 6 following competencies have been achieved.

This post is subject toan enhanced check with adults barred listDisclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.

Planned Shortlisting date - 24-July-2024

Planned Interview date- 2-August-2024

Main duties of the job

To provide a Specialist Speech and Language Therapy (Salt) Clinical Service to adults with a learning disability (LD) and communication difficulties and/or Dysphagia across the borough, both in the community and In-patient unit.

NB: Therapists without a Dysphagia qualification can train while carrying out the post.

To devise and provide specialist training courses.

About us

Mersey Care is one of the largest trusts providing physical health and mental health services in the North West, serving more than 1.4 million people across our region and are also commissioned for services that cover the North West, North Wales and the Midlands.

We offer specialist inpatient and community services that support physical and mental health and specialist inpatient mental health, learning disability, addiction and brain injury services. Mersey Care is one of only three trusts in the UK that offer high secure mental health facilities.

At the heart of all we do is our commitment to 'perfect care' - care that is safe, effective, positively experienced, timely, equitable and efficient. We support our staff to do the best job they can and work alongside service users, their families, and carers to design and develop future services together. We're currently delivering a programme of organisational and service transformation to significantly improve the quality of the services we provide and safely reduce cost as we do so.

Flexible working requests will be considered for all roles.

Job description

Job responsibilities


To independently manage a SLT caseload for adults with a learning disability within an inter-disciplinary team to include clients who may have challenging behaviour, dual diagnosis, autistic spectrum disorder, and profound and multiple learning disabilities.

To assess, diagnose, and analyse the range of treatment options, make decisions, carry out clinical management, review and evaluate outcomes for complex cases of communication disability were there are barriers to understanding. To use evidence-based practice and work within a quality, risk, performance framework.

To manage clients Dysphagia using evidence-based practice and work within a quality, risk, performance framework. To produce care plans.

To diagnose and evaluate all aspects of the persons health related to their Dysphagia, evaluating treatment options, and making recommendations for referral to others.

To formulate reports to explain the persons communication/Dysphagia needs, therapy, and prognosis for a range of audiences including families and other professionals.

To maintain clinical care records in accordance to Professional and Trust standards.

To employ excellent interpersonal communication skills with clients were there are barriers to understanding, for example adults with severe learning disabilities/cognitive impairment, with associated physical disability, deafness or visual impairment.

To use, teach and advise upon a range of Alternative and Augmentative Communication and Total Communication strategies.

To use and teach Sign language, to programme communication aids, to select and to use I.T. graphics packages to produce accessible information, demonstrating highly developed hand-eye co-ordination and sensory skills.

To work in partnership, with other professionals and agencies regarding the clients diagnosis and recommended case management. To be responsible for recognising the need for and organising case conferences for people on the caseload.

To supervise students and assistant speech and language therapists.

To be a registered member of R.C.S.L.T. and H.P.C. adhering to the clinical guidelines and standards of practice. To evaluate and contribute to professional reviews of clinical standards and guidelines.

To research and subsequently advise other professionals and services regarding the communication needs of individual clients. This includes working with primary and secondary health care staff, social services, medics and education.

To provide guidance and training to carers and other professionals within the clients environment about optimising the clients communication environment.

To contribute to the delivery of Valuing People and Valuing People Now objectives for clients with a learning disability.


To manage own caseload delivering a high quality, effective and efficient Speech and Language Therapy Service to adults with learning disabilities.

To manage projects as delegated.

To be responsible for own caseload management, prioritisation of work and to contribute to the collation of information.

To supervise SLT Assistants work with clients on own caseload.

To monitor and evaluate own clinical practice against professional standards, guidelines and policies.

To advise the Advanced SLT and team manager of Service delivery issues.

To report any problems with equipment or stock to the Advanced SLT . To identify the need for and to request new equipment, resources and assessment tools.

To be responsible for own equipment ensuring standards of infection control and safety are maintained.

To resolve informal complaints and inform the Advanced SLT of these. To report formal complaints to the Team Manager.

To contribute to policies, protocols care pathways and audits for Speech and Language Therapy related issues.

To be aware of, adhere to and implement Trust policies.

To identify the need for a service development, and discuss with SLT Therapy Manager.

To contribute to the service business plan as requested.


To research, evidence-base, develop, design and provide specialist training courses related to adult communication disability, adult challenging behaviour, and PMLD.

To provide training for a range of audiences including families, staff, medics, professionals and HEI under-graduates and post-graduates.

To provide formal training to large audiences, using audio visual aids, to communicate complex information about communication disability or Dysphagia.

To develop, monitor and evaluate own individual performance review identifying own Personal Development Plan (PDP) to meet team/service objectives annually and to complete KSF objectives.

To keep up-to-date with new techniques and developments for the promotion and maintenance of good practice in Dysphagia, challenging behaviour and complex communication disability in ALD.

To attend Specific Interest Groups to maintain, develop and contribute to clinical knowledge and advances in specialist area of SLT.

To develop a working knowledge of relevant procedures including Working with Vulnerable Adults, Child Protection, Valuing People and other legal frameworks

Provide evidence to support development around the Trust Appraisal system which may include the KSF or other competency profiles.

Participate in regular supervision, engage in reflective practice and be committed to continued development.

Develop own skills and knowledge and contribute to the development of others.


To identify the need for and to contribute to audit within areas of expertise. To use research methodology for specific audits.

To participate in and contribute to research at local and regional levels as appropriate.

Undertake and participate in appropriate audit, quality assurance programmes and research as directed.

Person Specification



  • Professional Speech and Language Therapy Degree. (BA/BSc or BMedSci)
  • Up to date HCPC Professional Registration (to be maintained)
  • Evidence of attendance at relevant short courses in specialist field.


  • Dysphagia qualification



  • Significant experience of SLT work with adults with a learning disability.
  • Undergraduate or post graduate experience of working in a team.
  • Undergraduate or post graduate experience of working with families or carers.
  • Knowledge of assessment and therapeutic management of communication disability in ALD gained through training courses, computer skills, reading literature and clinical experience
  • Knowledge and experience of symbol software packages and low/high tech communication aids
  • Experience of audit and/or research.
  • Awareness of relevant ? Experience of working with Speech and Language Therapy Assistants. national and professional policies, procedures and standards and codes of conduct e.g. RCSLT.
  • Awareness of principles of clinical governance, i.e. audit, research, evidence-based practice.
  • Understanding of undergraduate or post graduate experience of working in a team.



  • Continuous Improvement
  • Accountability
  • Respectfulness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Support
  • High professional standards
  • Responsive to service users
  • Engaging leadership style
  • Strong customer service belief
  • Transparency and honesty
  • Discreet
  • Change oriented



  • Knowledge and skills in using a range of comprehension, expressive language and the social use of language assessments e.g. DLS, CASP.
  • Presentation and teaching skills.
  • Willingness to undertake postgraduate Dysphagia training.
  • Awareness of a range of therapeutic interventions relevant to ALD.
  • Demonstrates ability to be a good team member.
  • Experience of using 'Total Communication' approaches therapeutically.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills.
  • Ability to manage and oversee the work of Speech and Language Therapy Assistants, NQT's and students.
  • Good listening, empathy and observation skills.
  • Analytical and reflective skills.
  • Well-developed concentrations and organisational and problem solving skills
  • Proven ability to work independently, manage and prioritise own caseload (developing Specialist post).
  • Ability to manage conflict.
  • Good organisation skills.

Employer details

Employer name

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust


Wakefield house

Guardian Street



Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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