How to become a Speech and Language Therapist

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: December 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are healthcare professionals who treat patients with speech, language and communication needs and problems with eating, drinking and swallowing, resulting from illness, injury and disability. Patient groups include children and adults with a primary speech difficulty, such as a stammer or selective mutism, and people with problems that are secondary to conditions and illnesses including deafness, head or neck cancer, dementia, cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome.

Some SLTs specialise in certain patient groups or specialisms, such as children and young people or patients with autism, and there are also opportunities to offer additional services such as medico-legal work, voice training and bilingual therapy.

Speech and language therapy is a regulated profession, and it is illegal to practise under the title speech and language therapist without being registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Most SLTs operate in private practice, but some also undertake NHS contract work and are engaged by local authority education and social care departments to provide services in schools, colleges and young people's homes.

This profile provides information about starting up and practising as a SLT. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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