In 'Sandwell on show', Jane Oates and Diana McQueen of Sandwell PCT explain how their department was looking for creative ways to engage with other professionals. Having visited the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham in the past, and with the Bercow Review drawing more attention than ever before to speech, language and communication needs, they decided to take the plunge at the 2009 show. As well as the article, Speech & Language Therapy in Practice members can access samples of the handouts the department prepared for the show.
Sandwell Community Healthcare Services are also in the news following the release of a screening and intervention package for early years practitioners to use with children aged from six months to six years. 'WellComm: A Speech and Language Toolkit for the Early Years' has been four years in the planning and involved more than 7000 children.
Diana McQueen, who is children’s therapy service manager and professional advisor for speech and language therapy, explained how a mix of direct screening, parental report and observation lead to a red, amber or green banding and support for what to do next. She said, “In Sandwell, the detailed information the toolkit provides has streamlined the referral process and improved access times for Speech and Language Therapy Services.
The toolkit is being supplied by GL Assessment from March 2010 for £250. It includes a training DVD, plus an online report wizard that helps measure and record progress across a large number of settings, enabling local authorities to make strategic decisions according to the needs in their area.