Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider independent Speech & Language Therapy?
People opt to choose independent Speech & Language Therapy for a variety of reasons. Often it is because what is available to them via the NHS is unable to meet their needs. With independent Speech & Language Therapy you do not have to face long waiting times for an appointment, or a limit on the number of sessions you are offered that is often dictated by pressures on the service rather than how well you are responding to treatment.

With independent Speech & Language Therapy you do not have to face long waiting times for an appointment, or a limit on the number of sessions you are offered that is dictated by long waiting lists rather than how well you are responding to treatment. With independent Speech & Language Therapy you can have access to intensive treatments that are often not provided by your local NHS service. For example, the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) that is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to improve the intelligibility of the speech of people with Parkinson's Disease.

ACT for Yorkshire Ltd. provides an independent Speech & Language Therapy service that is prompt, reliable and accessible to address your communication or swallowing needs.
Do I need a doctor's referral in order to be seen?
This depends on whether you are looking for help with a communication, swallowing or voice problem. We do not require a doctor's referral to see you for a communication problem; and either you or a person on your behalf can contact us to make an appointment. With your permission we will keep your GP, Consultant and any other relevant healthcare professionals informed of your treatment and progress.

If you are experiencing difficulties relating to your swallowing, or are covered by a Private Medical Insurance policy, a doctor's referral is required in order for you to be assessed. Your GP or Consultant normally provides this.

If you are looking for treatment for a voice problem, you must first be assessed by an ENT consultant to diagnose the underlying problem before we can see you for advice or for voice therapy. Normally an ENT assessment is arranged via your GP.
How soon can I be seen?
We aim to offer you an appointment within 2 weeks of you requesting one.
Can I be seen at home?
We prefer initial consultations to be held at the clinic, but appreciate that some clients are unable to travel to appointments. Home visits can be arranged for assessment and treatment sessions if these are preferred and appropriate. The travel time and mileage costs for home visits are chargeable in line with our fees information. You will be informed of the approximate cost involved before any visits are undertaken.
Can I be seen by you if I am still in hospital?
With your Consultant's written permission, we are able to provide assessment and therapy whilst you are in hospital to either 'top up' current NHS provision or to provide the Speech & Language Therapy service you need. The level of NHS service provision within hospitals varies widely across the Yorkshire region. Some people find that Speech & Language Therapy input is restricted to people with swallowing difficulties as a matter of priority, and others may receive some input for communication but feel that it is not frequent enough.
How much will it cost?
Charges vary depending on where you are seen (at home or in clinic) and what type of session is required. For example, we charge more for an initial consultation or review as these include a short report to you and (with your permission) to your GP or Consultant to keep them informed and up to date. At every stage you will be provided with an estimate of the charges involved to avoid any unexpected costs.
Why do fees vary between independent providers?
There are no national guidelines regarding what to charge for independent Speech & Language Therapy assessment or treatment, so each provider will set their own fees. There is, however, some level of consistency with fees currently being set nationally between 80 - 125 for an assessment and 65 90 for a therapy session. In setting their charges, each practitioner is asked by ASLTIP to consider their level of experience and expertise and reflect these accordingly in their charges.

ACT for Yorkshire's SLTs have over 20 years' experience of working with adults with neurological conditions and voice disorders, assuring you receive a quality, specialist service.
Why aren't your fees on the website?
The main reason we do not advertise our fees openly on our website is that making a price comparison between services based on figures alone is problematic. Charges vary according to many factors such as the Speech & Language Therapist's level of expertise, the length and type of session provided, whether a report is included and what level of detail this has, and whether the associated administration is included or charged as an additional cost. We would prefer to discuss our fees with you in person so you understand exactly what they cover and what you can expect from us. This personal approach enables you to make a more informed decision about which provider is right for you.
Am I covered by my private medical insurance?
We have recognised practitioner status with all the main medical insurers, but the level of cover varies considerably. We advise you to contact your personal advisory team and check what your policy will cover in terms of costs before arranging an appointment. Check specifically whether:
  • you have cover for the initial assessment session or just treatment sessions
  • there is a cap on the amount they will reimburse for each session
  • appointments can be provided at home most insurers specify that sessions must be undertaken in our registered clinic. Where home visits are acceptable, be aware that costs involved in travel and administration may not be included.
  • that your Insurance Company accepts the authority of the referring doctor (where appropriate) and how quickly they will process your claim.
  • you have pre-authorisation number to speed up the processing of your claim when submitting invoice receipts.
Please be aware that (with the exception of BUPA clients) our contract is with you and not any insurance company. You are, therefore, expected to pay all invoiced charges promptly and in full. Invoices will be provided for you to pass on to your Insurance Company for reimbursement in line with your policy cover, but please be aware that there may be a shortfall in what the Insurance Company pays out.
How do I pay?
Unless otherwise agreed, we expect full payment at the end of every session. We are able to accept cash or cheque payments. Alternatively, our account details are included on every invoice for your convenience should you wish to pay by BACS transfer. We request that all invoices are settled promptly by the date shown. We offer a small discount for advance payment on a block of therapy (minimum 6 sessions) to reflect the reduced administration required.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
We understand that events occur which may mean you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment with us. We politely request that you give as much notice as possible to avoid incurring a cancellation charge if this is within 24hrs of your appointment. Our current cancellation fee is 35.
What if I decide not to have any further input?
Once you have received the report following your initial appointment, you will have time to consider what you want to do next and whether to proceed with therapy. We wait to hear back from you so you can be assured that there will be no pressure to continue if for any reason you do not wish to do so.
How often and for how long will therapy last?
Therapy is usually provided in blocks of between 4 and 12 weeks. Sessions may be weekly or more intensive depending on the overall aims and what the evidence suggests will be most effective. For example, a treatment programme for a sentence processing difficulty would be two sessions a week for twelve weeks, and the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment programme (LSVT) is four times a week for four weeks. Other problems may require fewer sessions. You will typically have a block of therapy then a review after an agreed period of time to decide whether further therapy, monitoring or agreeing to end therapy and discharge you is appropriate.
How do I know that therapy will work?
Predicting the outcome of therapy is always difficult as it is dependent on so many individual aspects. In particular, the amount of damage to the communication parts of the brain following a stroke or head injury or the stage of your progressive neurological disease. Outcome is also affected by factors such as your motivation and the amount of effort you put into the practice given to you. Change can only be brought about through daily practice, and a session of therapy once a week is not sufficient in itself to get the desired results. Regular repetition and practice of exercises and strategies is essential to ensure that the therapy is effective and that new communications skills are learned.

Our assessment will help inform the therapy we recommend including suggesting how successful a given therapy could be for you. There are no guarantees about the success of treatment, but therapy is based on the latest research evidence (best practice) and your progress is closely monitored. If we do not feel a therapy approach is working, we will discuss this with you and consider any alternatives.
Will you liaise with my NHS SLT?
Yes. The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists sets clear guidelines about how NHS and independent Speech & Language Therapists should liaise with one another. These guidelines require all Speech & Language Therapists to:
  • share information and avoid duplication
  • agree therapy goals
  • agree which aspects of work each will cover; according to the Therapists' expertise and the time available to them to provide therapy
Some people choose to put their independent therapy on hold when NHS treatment becomes available and pick it up again afterwards. Others prefer to 'top up' their NHS input and receive both types of input in tandem. If this is the case, we will discuss with you how you would like this to work; for example, both Speech & Language Therapists working on different targets within an agreed goal, or both working on the same targets. Each therapist will need your consent (preferably in writing) to meet Data Protection requirements before your confidential information can be shared. This will enable both Speech & Language Therapists to share information as frequently as necessary throughout your therapy with them. Liaison may be face to face, by telephone, letter or email, but confidentiality will be assured however this takes place.
How and when will therapy end?
There are many factors which determine when therapy comes to an end. It may be once your goals in therapy have been successfully achieved, when recovery is felt to have plateaued, when finances dictate the need to stop or when treatment become available on the NHS. Discharge is always planned and agreed through discussion with you. Some people find moving away from their current level of support more difficult than others so we are very sensitive to your individual needs. To assist the discharge process, we try to put some means of social support in place such as the groups run by the Stroke Association and Speakability. There is often a process of phased reviews with longer intervals between therapy appointments before final discharge occurs.
What information will you hold about me and how will it be stored?
ACT for Yorkshire Ltd. is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office in line with information governance legislation. All your personal information will be treated as confidential, and stored safely in a locked cabinet when not in use. Any information which you disclose to us during sessions will remain confidential. The only exception to this would be if you or others were considered to be at serious risk. Professional guidelines stipulate that your records must be kept for a full 7 years after discharge from our service before being destroyed.
Can I see my Speech & Language Therapy records?
Under the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998) you have a right to make a written request to see the information which we hold about you, but there will be an administrative charge associated with doing so.
What checks can I make about you?
You are able to check with the Health Care Professions Council via this link that we are registered Speech & Language Therapists. We both hold current enhanced police and criminal record background checks with the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS), and can provide proof of this if required. Please also read some samples of testimonies from our clients and their families on our website.
What should I do if I want to make a complaint?
We would hope that you would feel able to discuss any concerns you may have with us directly so that these can be promptly addressed and resolved. If, having spoken to your Therapist, you remain unsatisfied about the service you have received, you can contact the Health and Care Professions Council for further advice regarding their complaints procedure.