Speech Language Therapy

The speech-language therapy service provides a service to adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties due to conditions such as:

  • Stroke
  • Progressive neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, muscular sclerosis, dementia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cancer, or surgery to the head & neck
  • Voice difficulties
  • Dysfluency (stuttering)

Speech Language Therapy involves:

  • assessment and diagnosis
  • rehabilitation services that are tailored to individual needs
  • advice on the use of compensatory strategies, including the use of alternative and assistive technology (e.g., communication boards, electronic voice output devices, voice amplifiers).
  • education to patients, family members and care staff working with the person with communication and/ or swallowing difficulties.

The Speech-Language Therapy Department (SLT) at Hauora Tairāwhiti provides in-patient and out-patient services for people in the Tairāwhiti region. We work in a variety of settings including the hospital, outpatient clinics, as well as in the community in peoples' own homes, rest homes and health centres. Inpatient referrals are usually received from the members of the: Medical team, nursing staff or allied health members and seen within 24 hours.

Outpatient referrals are received from GP’s, other allied health professionals, Rest homes and individuals. Once received, a call may be made to the patient/whānau/care facility, in order to triage them accordingly. A waitlist letter is sent out advising the patient of any waiting time. They are usually seen within a 3-6 week period depending on the demand.


Team:

Biddy Robb - Senior Lead Speech Language Therapist
Ellen Fallow – Speech Language Therapist


Assessment of swallowing or communication difficulties. A therapy plan will be implemented for their swallowing or communication issues. A videofluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS) may be recommended to fully understand an individual’s swallowing function and safety. Based on assessment results, a therapy plan or program may be implemented; this could be over a period of weeks. Compensatory strategies may be implemented with an individual or their whanau.


Online resources:

  • www.stroke.org.nz or www.gisbornestrokesupport.org.nz
  • www.mnd.org.nz
  • www.aphasia.org.nz
  • www.alzheimers.org.nz/gisborne
  • www.parkinsons.org.nz
  • www.hospicetairawhiti.org.nz
  • https://central-districts.cancernz.org.nz/about-us/contact-us/gisborne

For paediatric swallowing or feeding difficulties, speech difficulties due to a cleft, lip, palate or velopharyngeal insufficiency, communication difficulties – please see the Child Development Service.


How to get in touch:

Telephone: 06 869 0500, ext 8224
email: speech.therapists@tdh.org.nz

 

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