helen

Helen
Speech and Language Therapist
Adult Speech and Language Therapy

I first started working for the NHS in 2016, as a newly qualified Speech and Language Therapist. My time is split between seeing patients in the community in Brighton, and on the wards at Crawley Hospital. In Brighton, I am part of the Rapid Response Dysphagia Service. Our role is to see patients who need urgent swallowing assessments and make recommendations to help improve the safety of their swallow, and quality of life. In Crawley, most of my time is spent on the Stroke Rehab Ward. We provide therapy for patients who have communication and/or swallowing impairments as a result of a stroke. This can include people who've experienced changes to the way their speech sounds (dysarthria), or who have difficulty understanding and expressing themselves (aphasia). My colleagues are wonderful – not only are they knowledgeable and caring clinicians, they are also extremely supportive of each other.

With so much media coverage about the struggles of the NHS, it's important to recognise how much of a positive impact we continue to have on people's lives. Patients regularly make a point of telling me how brilliant the NHS is!

My proudest moment in the NHS is supporting a patient and her family through the early stages of recovery after a stroke, which had resulted in severe communication and swallowing difficulties. Despite limited progress in her ability to talk, I was able to teach the patient and family strategies to help them communicate with each other, which was invaluable for them at such a difficult time.

I have endless respect for all of my colleagues in Speech and Language Therapy. Despite going through a period of constant change within the service and wider NHS, my colleagues consistently go above and beyond for their patients. I’m proud to be a part of such a great team!