Specialist by alicejenny



1. Job details

JOB TITLE:                   Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
                             (Adult Neurology, Dysphagia )    5ND/450

GRADE:                       AfC Band 7

CONTRACT:                    1.0 WTE, 1 year fixed term contract

ACCOUNTABLE TO:              Professional Lead Speech and Language Therapy Services

RESPONSIBLE TO:              Team Leader (Adults)

BASE:                        Darlington Memorial Hospital

 2. Job Purpose
 1.   To act as a highly specialist clinician primarily for adults with dysphagia and communication
 2.   To advise and liaise with the relevant Co-ordinating Speech and Language Therapist.
 3.   To provide assessment, diagnosis and appropriate interventions for clients referred to the service.
3. Dimensions
Client Group(s)

The full range of communication impairments and feeding/swallowing difficulties encountered in adults
with neurological disorders.


100% adults

Geographical area

Predominantly within Darlington, with sessions provided in Bishop Auckland General Hospital.

Freedom to act

Expected results are defined but the post holder decides how they are best achieved. Is guided
by principles and broad occupational policies or regulations. Guidance may be provided by
peers or external reference points.

Physical effort

There is a frequent requirement to exert light physical effort for several long periods during a
shift, e.g. lifting and carrying assessment/therapy materials, sitting and standing in a restricted
position when working directly with clients.

Mental effort

There is a frequent requirement for intense concentration, e.g. during routine speech and
language therapy interventions which require in-depth mental attention combined with pro-
active engagement with the client. There is a requirement for sustained concentration and
active participation such as when performing a differential diagnosis of communication
impairments and conducting real-time phonemic and phonetic transcriptions.

Emotional effort

Frequent direct exposure to distressing or emotional circumstance, e.g. imparting unwelcome
news concerning patients’ diagnoses and prognoses to patients, their carers and other

Working conditions

Frequent exposure to highly unpleasant working conditions, e.g. being in direct contact with
body fluids through frequent oral examinations where barrier methods are necessary; oro-
motor work in which saliva-contaminated food substances must be repeatedly handled;
proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation in which instruments must be placed repeatedly into
the patient’s mouth, and being in close proximity to the vocal tract.
     4. Know ledge, Skills and Experience
     Knowledge, Training and Experience

     Highly developed specialist knowledge across the range of work procedures and practices
     underpinned by theoretical knowledge and relevant practical experience.

          Speech and Language Therapy Degree Qualification or equivalent as Recognised by the Royal
            College of Speech and Language Therapists.
          Health Professions Council (HPC) Licence to Practise.
          General experience working as a speech and language therapist.
          Experience as a highly specialist experience at post-graduate level in the specialist/lead area.
          Evidence of successful completion of highly specialist short courses up to Master's degree
          Knowledge and understanding of national and local Health/Education/Social Care policies and
          Knowledge and understanding of a wide range of procedures and practices related to the
            identification, definition, diagnosis and remediation of disorders of human communication and
            swallowing, that require expertise within the specialism.
          To develop and monitor own clinical expertise through reflective practice and seeking the
            knowledge and specialist expertise of colleagues both within and outside the Trust.
          To keep up to date with current clinical and technological advances.
          Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ accredited qualification in dysphagia or
            approved training and professional development to an equivalent standard.

     Analytical and Judgemental Skills

     Judgements involving complex facts or situations, which require the analysis, interpretation and
     comparison of a range of options.

          Analytical and judgmental skills applicable to the analysis and interpretation of highly complex
            facts or situations that require the breakdown, interpretation and comparison of a range of
     Planning and Organisational Skills

     Planning and organisation of a number of complex activities or programmes, which require the
     formulation and adjustment of plans.

          Planning and organisational skills applicable to advising on the formulation of long-term, strategic
            plans related to the specialist area, which may involve uncertainty.

     Physical Skills

     The post requires highly developed physical skills where a high degree of precision and speed
     and high levels of hand, eye and sensory co-ordination are essential for performing real-time
     phonemic and phonetic transcriptions and for manipulating instruments for dysphagia
     assessment and treatment.

     Communications and Relationship Skills

    Providing and receiving highly complex, highly sensitive or highly contentious information, where
    developed persuasive, motivational, negotiating, training, empathic or re-assurance skills are
required. This may be because agreement or co-operation is required or because there are
barriers to understanding.

      Skills in providing and receiving highly complex, sensitive and/or contentious information, where
       there may be barriers to acceptance which need to be overcome using highly developed
       interpersonal and communication skills.
      To be advised on the use of current practice by peers and more senior clinicians.

 5. Organisational Structure
 (see attached)
6. Ke y Duties
Responsibilities for Patient/Client Care
To provide highly specialised advice concerning the care or treatment of identified groups or
categories of patients/clients.

      To act as a highly specialist clinician for a defined area for the team.
      To provide assessment, diagnosis and appropriate speech and language therapy intervention
       for clients referred to the service.
      To provide appropriate information, training, advice and support to clients and their carers.
      To work closely with all appropriate agencies and colleagues for exchange of information and to
       ensure comprehensive management of the client.
      To identify the need for clinical support and advice and seek this from peers, both within and
       outside the Trust, and Co-ordinating Speech and Language Therapists as appropriate.
      To provide and request second opinions when appropriate.

Responsibilities for Policy and Service Development
To implement policies for own work area and propose policy or service changes which impact
beyond own area of activity.

      To design, implement and evaluate quality standards related to the client group in consultation
       with the Co-ordinating Speech and Language Therapist.
      To evaluate service provision and make recommendations regarding potential service
       developments in the specialist area to the Co-ordinating Speech and Language Therapist and
       Head of Speech and Language Therapy Services
      To participate in activities designed to improve the effectiveness of service provision.
      To initiate the delivery and development of innovative practice in the specialist area in
       collaboration with peers and the Co-ordinating Speech and Language Therapist.

Responsibilities for Financial and Physical Resources
To observe personal duty of care in relation to equipment and resources used in course of

Responsibilities for Human Resources
To be regularly responsible for professional /clinical supervision of a small number of qualified
staff or students.

      To supervise and mentor less experienced speech and language therapists and to supervise
       assistants, technicians and volunteers.
      To provide in-service training of speech and language therapy colleagues and volunteers
       across the service in the specialist area and to support other speech and language therapists in
       developing skills in this area.
      To plan, deliver and evaluate training programmes to associated professionals and other
       individuals and groups concerned with the specialist area.
      To train and supervise the work of speech and language therapy students up to, and including,
       final year and exam placement students.
Responsibilities for Information Resources
To be regularly responsible for data entry, text processing or storage of data, utilising paper or
computer based data entry systems.

Responsibilities for Research and Development
To regularly undertake R &D activity.
          To undertake and evaluate research relating to the client group at the discretion of the Head of
           Speech and Language Therapy Services.

 7. Other Duties
 1.       To undertake administrative record keeping and information gathering activities expected of the
           team within the required time frame.
 2.       To participate in the current appraisal system.
 3.       To provide accurate statistical information as requested.
 4.       To ensure that client records are maintained at all times.
 5.       To attend and take part in all relevant meetings.
 6.       To behave at all times in such a way as to foster a positive image of the service and colleagues.
 7.       To undertake additional duties as considered appropriate by the Head of Speech and Language
           Therapy Services.
 8.       To comply with the Health and Safety regulations and any other relevant Trust policies.

8. Job Description Agreement

 JOB HOLDER'S SIGNATURE                                                              DATE:

 HEAD OF DEPARTMENT SIGNATURE:                                                       DATE:

This job description is intended as a guide to the main duties and responsibilities of the post and it will
be subject to amendment in the light of developing service needs in consultation with the post holder.

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