[PDF] Resource Manual for Commissioning and Planning Services for SLCN - Head and Neck Cancer

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists - RCSLT
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Publication date:
06 February 2012


1. Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team working with patients with Head and Neck cancer. 2. SLTs have expertise in assessing, diagnosing and managing disorders of communication, speech, voice and swallowing. 3. SLTs develop and support the communication skills of both the patient and communicative partners. 4. SLTs have a unique and positive role to play in alaryngeal voice restoration post laryngectomy. 5. SLTs have the lead responsibility for the decision making process of selection of prosthesis, care and management in Surgical Voice Restoration service (SVR) post laryngectomy. 6. SLTs contribute to better health outcomes through their unique role in assessing, diagnosing and managing patients who have an oropharyngeal dysphagia at both pre and post treatment stages. 7. Early SLT intervention for swallowing problems associated with head and neck cancer requires a thorough assessment that may include both videofluoroscopy and/or FEES (fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing using videoflexible nasendoscopy). 8. The long-term risk and /or presence of transient, intermittent or persistent dysphagia puts patients at risk of the complications that are associated with dysphagia and require a specialist SLT to monitor and review the patient’s progress over time. 9. Pathways of care for persons with speech, voice or swallowing disorders associated with head and neck cancer need to take account of the changing needs and focus interventions as the condition alters or declines. 10.SLTs contribute to palliative and ‘End of Life’ care, maximising and facilitating communication and managing dysphagia throughout the end stages, promoting quality of life