Why should I consider independent Speech & Language Therapy? ↓
People opt to choose independent private 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 dictated by long waiting lists rather than how well you are responding to treatment.
With independent private 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 in Leeds and across Yorkshire that is prompt, reliable and accessible to address your communication, voice 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.
Communication: No. You can contact yourself, or someone can do so on your behalf to make an appointment.
Swallowing: Yes. A Doctor’s referral is required in order for your swallowing to be assessed. Your GP or Consultant can normally provide this on request by letter or email to us.
Voice: Yes. You must have the results of an ENT examination; diagnosing the underlying condition before we can offer advice or voice therapy (including LSVT). 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.
How much will it cost? ↓
Charges vary depending on where you are seen (at home, online or in clinic) and what type of session is required. We prefer to discuss our fees with you individually, so you understand exactly what they cover and what you can expect from us.
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. When you search online you will see that charges vary. In setting their charges, each practitioner is asked by their independent association; ASLTIP to consider their level of experience and expertise and reflect these accordingly in their charges. In addition, charges may also vary according to the length and type of session provided, whether a report is included, how detailed this is, and whether administration is included or charged as an additional cost.
ACT for Yorkshire's SLTs both have over 25 years' experience of working with adults with neurological conditions and voice disorders, assuring you receive a quality, specialist service. At every stage, you will be provided with an estimate of the charges involved to avoid any unexpected costs.
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 long will I need to be seen? ↓
Once you have received the report following your initial appointment, you decide whether you wish to proceed with any therapy as suggested. The number and frequency of therapy sessions vary for many reasons. Please see TREATMENT for details.
You will typically have a block of therapy then a review to decide whether further therapy, monitoring or agreeing to end therapy 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 becomes 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, 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? ↓
Can I see my Speech & Language Therapy records? ↓
Under the terms of GDPR legislation (2018) you have a right to make a written request to see the information which we hold about you, but there may 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.