Referral Criteria and Guidance
Update posted: 6 April 2020
To support the increased demand for critical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust has made a number of temporary changes to our children and young people’s services to ensure that staff can be redeployed to areas where they are most needed and patient safety is not compromised. These changes are in line with NHS England and Government guidelines. Please click here for full details about the changes to the services provision for the families we care for.
We see children and young people from birth to age 19 with a wide range of speech, language and communication needs living in Buckinghamshire and who have a Buckinghamshire GP. We also provide a service for children with feeding and swallowing difficulties.
We offer information, training, advice, assessment and ongoing therapy as appropriate. Our services are delivered in a range of community settings including family centres, educational and healthcare settings around the county. We work in partnership with families and staff at family centres, early years settings, schools and colleges and we can provide training, liaison and advice to those working directly with the child or young person. You can find out more on our website www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/Children-and-young-people
Information on partner services that may also be able to offer support for speech, language and communication needs is available on the Family Information Service “local offer” website.
We accept referrals via email and post using our integrated referral form which can be completed by families, schools or medical professionals.
Preschool children up to Reception class entry can access our service by completing a referral form which will be directed to the most appropriate level of support.
Before making a referral, please be sure that
- The difficulties in speech, language, or social communication are having a functional impact. Functional skills here refer to skills that demonstrably support independence and well-being.
- There is recorded evidence that first stage interventions and strategies suggested on our communication carousel or hungry little minds have been carried out.
- External advice has been sought where appropriate e.g. Early Years Access and Inclusion Team
- The reasons for referral are not connected to behavioural or emotional difficulties that have no direct effect on communication or swallowing
- Children with English as an Additional Language have language difficulties in their first language, not just with English
- Children that have been seen previously and discharged from the service, have new functional communication difficulties and would therefore benefit from further advice
For children attending school, the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) within the school should be the first point of contact
Referrals will be accepted for children and young people where there are concerns regarding
- Selective mutism / reluctant talkers
- Speech disorder in Key stage 1 children where they have been screened and flagged as ‘needing to discuss with speech and language’.
- Speech disorder in Key stage 2 and above.
Pathways to access to Speech and Language Therapy for school aged children can be found here: Flowchart Feb 2020.
All children and young people with complex health needs, can access our service by completing a referral form which will be directed to the most appropriate level of support.
Referrals for feeding and swallowing difficulties must be made by a GP/Consultant with a full medical history attached.
Speech and Language Link
Speech Link and Language Link packages are available to all Key Stage 1 settings to provide screening and provide universal and targeted support for 4-8 year olds with speech or language needs. Screening and evidence of support must be completed prior to seeking advice from or referral to the speech and language therapy service. Speech Link and Language Link
Screening flagged red
- Infant Language Link – school to complete 2 cycles of interventions and if not making progress book on to joint advice session with specialist teachers for further advice
- Speech Link – school to start following Speechlink’s recommended advice, and refer to service if flagged as ‘needing to discuss with speech and language’.
Advice and training
Schools can access advice for any child with a language or social communication difficulty through regular joint advice sessions run jointly between Speech and Language Therapy and the Specialist Teaching Service. Appointments can be booked via Eventbrite. No referral is required as children will be discussed anonymously. KS1 settings will need to provide evidence of having completed the Language Link/Speech Link interventions.
Specialist intervention packages to support social communication and language needs can be requested from email@example.com
Early years training is provided in conjunction with Buckinghamshire Early Year’s Service. Information for school aged training can be found here.
For all children and young people
- For health related needs, the child or young person must have a GP within Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- For educational based needs, the child or young person must have a Buckinghamshire address and attend a mainstream school (Local Authority, academy, free school or home schooled) or early years setting within Buckinghamshire.
If all the above criteria are met, then complete our referral form. (Any sections marked with a * must be completed or your referral may be rejected.)
Once completed, email your form to Bucfirstname.lastname@example.org or post to: CYP Therapies, Haleacre, Amersham Hospital, Whielden Street, Amersham, Bucks HP7 0JD
If you have any queries, you can call us on: 01296 566045
We also strongly recommend that our website and the local offer site are checked to see if there are other services that might be able to offer more suitable and swifter support