3rd November 2016 – Unique help via video link for people nationwide who stammer
More people throughout the country are to be offered help with managing their stammer by Airedale Hospital’s speech and language therapists using a video link in a unique service funded by the Health Foundation.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with the British Stammering Association (BSA) – the UK’s national charity for adults and children who stammer – to secure a successful bid for £73,000 to deliver this on-screen service.
Their project has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement. The fifth round of this programme will run for 15 months and is supporting 22 health care projects in the UK with the aim of improving health care delivery or the way people manage their own health care by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.
There is a national shortage of specialist speech and language services to help people who stammer and this first large-scale pilot of its kind will offer help to adults who are unable to access therapy locally. Over the course of the programme the team will develop its innovative idea and approach, put it into practice and gather evidence about how the innovation improves the quality of health care.
Initially between 40 and 60 participants will be identified through the BSA’s helpline to take part in the project which will run for a year from April 2017. The service will then be evaluated by researchers in the Speech and Language Sciences Department at Leeds Beckett University in order to produce recommendations for development of future practice. If it proves a success, the service could also be adapted to other health services, social care and paediatrics.
The aim is to help adults who don’t have access to local services to manage their stammering and also improve their confidence, education and employment opportunities so that they can participate in everyday life on an equal footing.
The video service will offer help to adults who stammer at a place convenient to them which could be in their home, their office or other location using a PC, tablet, smart phone or smart TV.
Stephanie Burgess, senior speech and language therapist at Airedale Hospital, who has experience of using telemedicine as part of her service, said: “I’m so pleased and excited that the Health Foundation is going to fund this project as it will benefit many more people who are struggling to get the help they need, which is vital to reduce the impact that stammering can have on many aspects of their lives.
“If it is successful we are committed to sharing our learning with other trusts and national networks so that they can reach out to others who are not achieving their full potential due to a scarcity of specialist face-to-face services.”
Sarah Henderson, associate director from the Health Foundation, said: “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.
“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK.”
The Digital Care Hub at Airedale Hospital based in Steeton, in West Yorkshire, already delivers an innovative telemedicine service to improve the health of residents in over 400 care homes and around 30 prisons in the country. Airedale NHS Foundation Trust also runs the successful Gold Line service – a 24 hour, seven day week telephone line and telemedicine service also funded by the Health Foundation’s Shared Purpose initiative. For more information about the programme www.health.org.uk
Stammering affects around one in 100 adults and is a neurological condition which can have a significant impact on a person’s life and mental health. The BSA currently receives around 1,200 enquiries from adults who stammer and need access to services each year. –