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Speech and Language Therapist interacts with young child during session

Speech and Language initiative helps reduce anxiety ahead of appointments

Children, young people, parents and carers will now have an improved experience when seeing Wiltshire’s speech and language service after it developed the way it explains appointments to help prepare them and reduce anxiety.

A new leaflet has been produced, which informs the young people who use the speech and language service of who therapists are and what they do, what happens during appointments and what intervention may then take place.

Virgin Care, which runs Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, funded the leaflet through its Feel the Difference Fund. The fund is a dedicated £100,000 a year that’s made available for projects designed and delivered by frontline staff to improve the experience of those using the services.

People who use the service will now feel more confident attending their first appointment as they will understand what it is for and how it could help them. This will reduce their anxiety and also help their parents to understand and to talk to their children about the appointment.

Caroline Almeida, Lead for Speech and Language Therapy for Wiltshire Children’s Community Services, said: Young people often come to their first appointment unprepared, unaware of what will happen during the session which leaves them anxious.

“We’re pleased that the Feel the difference fund is available to fund something like this to help us to reduce these negative feelings and present appointments as positive and helpful.”

In 2017, the fund was used by Wiltshire colleagues and invested more than £3,000 in projects including; delivering extra help for children in Wiltshire who have cerebral palsy to help them achieve their goals that are important to them and their families; supporting the launch of ChatHealth to reach more people and increase uptake of the texting service; and helping the immunisation service to highlight useful information that children need to know during school vaccinations through the use of a changing noticeboard.

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