One Capital Court, Unit 1A, Exeter, Devon EX2 7FW 0330 024 5321 VCL. DevonSpa@nhs.net

Welcome to Devon Speech and Language Therapy Service.

We offer support to children and young people who experience difficulties with speech, language or communication. This could include understanding, talking, speech sounds or stammering. We also work with children and young people who have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

We work in partnership with children and young people aged 0 to18 years, their families and other professionals to reduce the impact of speech, language and communication difficulties and to allow them to participate more fully in daily life.

If you are referred to our service, you will receive an initial appointment where we will spend time talking to you about how your child is doing and what you hope to gain from speech and language therapy. We will also assess your child’s speech, language and communication and, in discussion with you, agree what, if any, intervention is required.

We work in short focused episodes of care, aiming towards a goal which has been agreed with you. We provide support for children whose communication difficulties are impacting on your child’s participation in everyday life.

Therapy is not provided continuously as breaks are an important part of consolidation and speech and language learning. Intervention can take many forms and therapy may be delivered through a programme in school, pre-school and/or at home, in a small group or through individual sessions.

Devon Children’s Services website

For more information, advice and toolkits please visit our website

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the Government’s health watchdog, responsible for ensuring that healthcare services registered with it provide high quality care that is safe, effective and compassionate. The CQC inspected our service in June 2017 and rated it as ‘good’. View CQC report.

How to book an appointment

We will contact you to make an initial appointment. This will be at the clinic nearest to you or in school if this is more convenient.  Parents are expected to attend the initial appointment.

How long will it take my child to be seen?

Our target is to see children as soon as possible. We aim for this to be within 18 weeks following acceptance of referral, however we cannot be specific about this.

Response times for the eating, drinking and swallowing service are:

Inpatients

Priority 1 – seen within two working days
Priority 2 – seen within five working days

Outpatients

Priority 1 – seen within five working days
Priority 2 – seen within four weeks

What happens during my child’s appointment?

The speech and language therapist will spend time talking to you about how your child is doing and what you hope to gain from speech and language therapy. The therapist will evaluate your child’s individual needs through observation, play and specifically designed assessments depending on your child’s age.

How long will my child’s appointment take?

Each appointment is dependent on your child’s needs so appointments vary in length. However, most tend to be between 45 minutes and an hour.

How do I cancel or change my child’s appointment?

If you and your child cannot make the appointment, please contact us on the telephone number on your appointment letter as soon as possible. This will enable us to find a more convenient time for you and to use the time to arrange an appointment for another child.

How to refer into the service

We have an open referral system and so accept referrals from anyone who has concerns regarding speech, language, and communication needs. A referral form should be completed providing as much information as possible and sent to One Capital Court, Unit 1A, Exeter EX2 7FW. You can find more referral information and forms here.

These are triaged by an experienced speech and language therapist to ascertain whether they are appropriate.

A letter regarding the outcome of triage is sent to the referrer.

The eating, drinking and swallowing service requires a referral from a paediatrician, community children’s nurse, dietician or speech and language therapist.

How does the service work?

We will contact you to make an initial appointment for your child. At the first appointment, we will spend time talking to you about how your child is doing and what you hope to gain from speech and language therapy.

We will assess your child’s speech, language and communication and, in discussion with you, agree what, if any, intervention is required. We work in short focused episodes of care, working to a goal which has been agreed with you.

If further appointments are required, we will agree convenient times and the most appropriate place. Therapy is not provided continuously as breaks are an important part of consolidation and language learning.

Intervention can take many forms and therapy may be delivered:

  • Through a programme in school, pre-school and/or at home
  • In a small group
  • Through individual sessions

Your records

We record all the information about you confidentially on our clinical system. Click here to get more information about how we use health records.

Non-English speakers and other formats

We provide all our leaflets in other languages and formats. Please let us know if you would like a different format or language.

If you require information in another language you can get the page translated by clicking on the headphone sign on the top right of the page

Our commitment to you

Virgin Care takes your dignity and privacy very seriously and we will at all times respect your confidentiality. Please treat our staff with respect so we can provide you with the very best care we can. Click here to find out more about your rights and responsibilities.

Your opinion really matters to us

Please let us know if you have a comment, a compliment or a complaint by filling out one of our feedback forms or telling a member of the team. Alternatively, if you would like to make an official complaint you can find out more from our How to make a complaint section by clicking here.

Find out more

I was treated with great care and understanding. The care I received was second to none; everyone was so lovely.

Sapphire Ward, Gravesham Hospital