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2 May

South East

Meath School, Brox Road, Ottershaw, Surrey KT16 0LF

19 May

North East

Joseph Cowen Room, Claude Gibb Halls of Residence Northumbria University, University Precinct, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8SU

16 June


Heath Training and Development centre, Free School Lane, Halifax HX1 2PT

19 June


CEA @ Islington, Block A, Barsbury Complex Offord Road, London N1 1QF

30 June

South East

Meath School, Brox Road, Ottershaw, Surrey KT16 0LF


Communication Forum launches SchoolTalk

The School Talk 2006 cascade timetable

(From left): Health Foundation Programme Support Manager Vivien Little, Professor James Law and Communications Forum Chair Caroline Sykes celebrate the launch of School Talk

Delegates sample the School Talk product at the launch

The Communications Forum formally launched its School Talk programme on 1 March at the RCSLT headquarters.

Developed with generous funding from the Health Foundation, School Talk aims to use a training package and DVD to facilitate the inclusion of children with a communication disability at Key Stage 2.

The programme of one-day training events, disseminated by children’s communication charity ICAN, will facilitate large-scale training of mainstream staff, including teachers and teaching assistants, and SLTs across whole areas.

Speaking at the launch, project evaluator Professor James Law, Director of the Centre for Integrated Healthcare Research at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, introduced the project.

“What I’ve found is that when you put people from different professional groups in the same room, they all recognise the children; they just call their behaviour different things,” Professor Law said.

“We’ve tried to make the School Talk product as jargon-free as possible and I hope the DVD will provide a common language for people to talk about what they are doing.

“We’ve ended up with a product that is an end in itself; what I hope is a really good teaching activity. What I hope is going to happen is that the children will effectively teach the therapists and the teachers to talk to each other.”

The box below outlines the remaining dates and venues for 2006. Contact ICAN, email: training@ican.org.uk or tel: 0845 225 4073 for details.

Report calls for more specialist MS therapists


bulletin April 2006


A lack of multiple sclerosis (MS) specialist therapists could prevent NHS trusts from meeting the targets set in the National Service Framework (NSF) for long-term conditions, according to a new MS Trust report.

Therapists in MS – Delivering the Long-term Solutions argues that MS specialist therapists will have to take a greater role if National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) MS guidelines are to be successfully implemented.

The NICE guidelines call for commissioners to ensure specialised neurological and neurological rehabilitation services are available for all MS patients when needed.

The report details widespread differences in the availability of specialist therapists remain, and says just 100 suitably-qualified SLTs, physiotherapists and occupational therapists currently work in the UK.

Published in March 2005, the NSF for long-term conditions outlines 11 quality requirements, which aim to improve patient outcomes and reduce emergency bed days that must be implemented by 2015. Therapists in MS says that by providing specialist therapists, trusts can achieve all of these targets.

Visit:: www.mstrust.org.uk/therapistsinms

The report identifies four key proposals for change:

Commissioners should work with service users and specialists to increase access to specialist therapists All inter-disciplinary teams should have specialist therapy input Models of service delivery should fit the local need but a ‘hub and spoke’ model advocated by the Calman Report may be adequate Specialist therapists should provide an effective bridge between health and social care services

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