1. How do we make a referral?

There is lots of information on how to refer on our website page. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for our referral forms- parents can self-refer their child using our parent/carer referral form. There are also school and pre-school referral forms on this page. Once the form is completed email it through to us.


What happens after I have made a referral?

After a referral has been received, it will be triaged by one of our team and a decision made about what will happen next. Whoever has made the referral will be contacted about the outcome. You can watch more about what to expect in the ‘your child’s journey’  video (link to video here)


  1. Will my child ever talk?

All children develop at their own rate and there is lots of information on what to expect at different stages of development on this page of our website:  https://childspeechbedfordshire.nhs.uk/building-blocks/

Speech and Language Therapists support children to be able to communicate in lots of ways, not just talking. It might be to learn to use sign language, communicate through pictures or a communication aid.


  1. Why might my child be struggling to learn to talk?

There are lots of things that can cause speech and language delays including hearing difficulties, family history of difficulties or developmental delay. For some children they simply need more time to develop along with the right strategies. Parents are often the best people to help their child to develop in their everyday environment.


  1. When will my child be seen and how often will they be seen?

We aim to see new referrals for initial assessment and advice within the NHS guidelines of 18 weeks.  For some children, assessment and advice is all that is needed, other children might need further support from the speech and language therapy service. The frequency of therapy will depend on your child’s individual needs and this may vary over time. Next steps for your child will be agreed with you at their assessment.


  1. Can you see my child at home?

Most children are seen in clinics, pre-schools or school settings, unless there is a clinical reason not to. In exceptional circumstances home visits can be arranged with agreement from the speech therapy manager.


  1. Will I always see the same therapist?

Your child may be seen by a speech and language therapist or one of our support practitioners, under the supervision of a therapist. We try to ensure that children are seen by the same clinician during their individualised package of support but this is not always possible.


  1. What support do you offer as a service?

We offer assessment, advice, therapy and training around all aspects of speech, language and communication for you and the people who support your child.  Our targeted training sessions are an important part of your child’s support. Check out our video ‘Your child’s journey through speech and language therapy’. For more specific guidance see our specialisms page https://childspeechbedfordshire.nhs.uk/all-specialisms/

You can also find more information on services available for your child on the local offer page (include links)


  1. Why is my child being discharged when they still have speech and language needs?

At the bottom of this page https://childspeechbedfordshire.nhs.uk/who-are-we/ are reasons as to why your child’s journey through speech therapy might end. We are always happy to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s discharge.


  1. How will I know when to re-refer?

Some children will need further support after their package of support has been completed. If you feel you child needs further support, you or your child’s educational setting can make a request for this. It’s important to seek re-referral if your child requires new advice for their difficulties or their difficulties have changed or worsened.


  1. We speak a different language at home how will you do my child’s assessment?

The service will arrange for an interpreter to be present at the appointment to translate for you and where needed your child. It is important it is clear on the referral if you require an interpreter for the appointment as this will need to be arranged in advance.


  1. Who do I speak to in school if I am concerned?

There are lots of people who can help and give advice including your child’s teacher or keyworker, your nursery or school SENDCo, the communication champion in your school, nursery, 0-19 team or children’s centre are also a good place to seek advice.


  1. How to leave a compliment or complaint?

You can speak to the clinician directly or via email, you could email our main email box ccs.beds.childrens.slt.admin@nhs.net , complete our service feedback questionnaire https://www.oc-meridian.com/cambsCommunityServices/survey/ChiEsqParent or contact our CCS compliments and complaints team ccs.complaints@nhs.net


Initially, please raise any concerns you may have with your clinician. Alternatively, you can contact our main admin team to ask to speak to a team lead or our service manager 01234 310712. Our PALS team are able to support and help to sort quickly your queries or complaints Tel: 0300 131 1000 or E-mail: ccs-tr.pals@nhs.net