editorial & letters
News for April
I have two major pieces of news for you this month
The first concerns the imminent launch of the RCSLT’s new online continuing professional development diary system and CPD toolkit during April.
As you will see on pages 22 and 23 of this month’s Bulletin, the new system, which replaces the old paper based ‘log’, has been through its testing phase and will soon be ready for you to use.
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From the feedback we’ve received from the 150 members who have used it so far, we’re confident that you will find the online system a much easier way to record your CPD activities.
We will feature more about this exciting development in the May Bulletin.
I’d also like to draw your attention again to the RCSLT conference, Commissioning a Patient-led NHS: what does it mean for you? in London on 27 April.
In light of the developments proposed by the white paper, Our Health, our care, our say, it is imperative that SLTs and other allied health professionals know what is planned in relation to patient-led commissioning.
This conference will help you to support delivery of the new commissioning agenda. Specifically, it will help you better understand commissioning, payment by results, the options and costs/benefits for different provider models, workforce planning and Connecting for Health.
Mental health SIG website We have recently received many enquiries about setting up speech and language therapy services for individuals with mental illness. As a result, we would like to alert RCSLT members to our SIG mental health website: www.mentalhealthsig.co.uk
Further to our successful study day on 31 January 2006, we hope to include additional information on this topic on the website, including for example: a collation of the assessments available for working within this client group by Jan Roach, St Andrews Hospital; a study led by Dr Irene Walsh, Trinity College Dublin, reporting on the pathway to the setting up of such a service in Ireland; and work by Fiona Williamson on the role of speech and language therapy assistants in mental health.
information and to allow us to gauge the interest in this area, we will provide a password, upon receipt of £10, that will enable you to access a large body of information on the SIG mental health website.
The money should be sent to Helen Clarke, SLT, Speech and Language Therapy Department, Hawthorn Lodge, St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping, Essex CM 16 6TN.
Our next study day will be in Nottingham on 15 June, 2006, and will include a large number of presentations on therapeutic approaches of speech and language therapy in mental health. We will advertise the study day in the Bulletin and on our website in due course.
The RCSLT has arranged for top-level speakers to address the conference and will provide you with a great opportunity to ask the panel about your issues of concern.
Places are going fast, so if you haven’t booked your place yet, do so today. Visit: www.rcslt.org/april27
And after the event, you’ll be able to enter the conference into your new online CPD diary.
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Valuing our SLTAs I read with interest the letter ‘Equal banding for SLTAs’ (Bulletin, January 2006, p4), in which newly-qualified therapists (NQTs) protested at having been given the same banding as assistants.
As an NQT, I was supported and encouraged in my new job by speech and language therapist assistants (SLTAs). My limited time on clinical placements could not match their years of experience in working with clients, carers and parents.
Whereas an NQT can move up
SIG Mental Health Committee
through the AfC spine points relatively rapidly, Band 5 is the top of the pay scale for an SLTA.
Placing experienced SLTAs and NQTs on the same banding does not devalue the academic qualifications of the SLT. Rather, it recognises the importance of the practical knowledge and skills that SLTAs have acquired over time.
Liz Boardman SLT, learning disabilities Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust
bulletin April 2006