Cardiff Met increases its speech and language therapy services to cater for adults

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Centre for Speech and Language Therapy has recently redeveloped its clinic to cater for adults in Cardiff and the Vale with acquired communication difficulties.

The clinic, which opened in 1983 and initially focused on therapy for children, now also provides a service for adults who have communication difficulties following a stroke – a condition called aphasia.

Aphasia directly affects a person’s ability to speak, read, write and actually understand language.

These difficulties in communicating can have a long-term negative effect on people with aphasia – they can experience loneliness, loss of autonomy, stigmatisation and depression.

As part of the redevelopment, the Centre has recruited an additional part-time lecturer in adult therapy and has made its clinical facilities accessible to wheelchair users and adults with communication disability.

Commenting on this new clinical provision, Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy, Kate Tucker, said: “About 7,500 people a year in Wales have a stroke, and with approximately a third of these affected by aphasia, this is a hugely important area of speech and language therapy.

“Our increased provision will provide a number of benefits, chiefly by offering a bespoke service to people with aphasia in the local community. Our aim is to help those with aphasia to communicate to the best of their ability, help restore as much speech and language as possible and find alternative ways of communicating.  We also support them in living positively with their aphasia.

“This clinic will also help students learn about this area of clinical practice as well as helping us to forge even stronger links with Cardiff and Vale UHB with whom we work closely to complement their clinical services. Referrals to the adult clinic are made via the Cardiff and Vale UHB Speech and Language Therapy service.

“At the moment, this is a small scale venture in order to test the waters. Looking to the future, we hope that this new service will continue to expand to allow us to run related research projects in the Centre, and clinics for people with other conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.”

The Centre for Speech and Language Therapy at Cardiff Met has been training and educating speech and language therapists for over 40 years. It has gained a reputation for the high quality of its teaching, and through its collaboration with colleagues in the NHS it has endeavoured to align its educational provision with the needs of SLT services in Wales. Many of the speech and language therapists providing services across Wales and the rest of the UK are graduates of the course.

Pictured – Speech and language therapy undergraduates, Laura Lopez-Bueno, Letitia Corner and Abigail Bisset discussing an aphasia assessment and associated clinical resources? (c) Cardiff Metropolitan University.