Thursday, 18 February 2016

So What's Next - The Communication Trust Research Project

At the start of this month (February 2016) The Communication Trust published a report that we had been commissioned by them to do.  We worked with six schools and heard from 54 children and over 100 parents. The report is available on-line at this link, where you can access the full report and the executive summary free of charge:


We have wanted to provide an additional summary, to tell the parents and children that were involved, what we found and what The Communication Trust will be doing with the report and its findings. We hope that this will be particularly interesting for the children that were involved in the discussions with us, but also in general to children who are involved in decision making at school. It is important for them to know that we value their views and their contributions are being used to improve things for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.  The image is a feedback sheet to work through with the children.


So what are The Communication Trust doing next?

  • The research report was emailed out to The Communication Trust’s newsletter audience – that’s 25,000 people who are interested in children and young people’s speech, language and communication.
  • It was also sent it to the 52 member organisations of The Communication Trust and their 273 Local Champions who work across England to support children and young people with SLCN.
  • The research findings will go directly to the Department for Education at the end of March (2016). They will be able to read the report, ask questions they have about it and find out how many people have been using it in their work.
  • Copies of the executive summary will be taken to the Education Show (9000 people attend) and Nasen Live (1000 people attend). This will be an excellent way for people who might not know so much about SLCN to find out more about the perspectives of children and young people with SLCN, and their families, on decision making and involvement.
  • The findings from the report have helped The Communication Trust (TCT) to write a toolkit for people who work in schools and colleges to help them with useful ideas and activities to better involve children and young people with SLCN. This toolkit will be available later in February on the TCT website. It will be a really important way of turning the information provided by the children, young people and parents who took part in the research into practical support for teaching and school staff.
  • TCT will also make sure that they use all the really useful information from the children, young people and parents in the future work of TCT. 



Friday, 9 October 2015

We NEED your help!

The Communication Trust (TCT) is widely recognised for its provision of research and resources to support the workforce who delivers interventions for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).


A particular focus of TCT’s work, with funding from the Department for Education, has been to support the ongoing dissemination of the Better Communication Research Programme (BCRP). One aspect of this work, the development of the ‘What Works’ database, illustrates TCT’s concern to base guidance and support for practitioners on research evidence. TCT has also been commissioned to provide guidance concerning the support of the workforce regarding the involvement of children and young people with SLCN in decisions that concern them. This is in response to the Children and Family Act 2014 and the related Code of Practice which requires that children and young people must be involved in “discussions and decisions about their individual support and local provision” in order to increase participation and inclusion of children and young people, the early identification of needs and the delivery of high quality support. TCT has already developed a resource to support professionals to implement the Code of Practice (“Communicating the Code”) which contains a chapter on the involvement of children and young people with SLCN.

TCT intends to develop practical guidance for practitioners to ensure that children and young people with SLCN are fully involved in discussions and decisions about their individual support and about local provision. It is the intention of TCT that this guidance be informed by independent research that investigates the experiences of children and young people with SLCN and their parents of current practice regarding their involvement since the introduction of the Code of Practice and their views of best practice for their involvement in developing their individual support particularly around the setting of outcomes and in developing local services. The Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU) are working with the TCT to achieve this.  But we need your help!

Would you be willing to complete a short on-line survey (click here), or maybe take part in a telephone interview (about 30 minutes; email lydia.morgan@speech-therapy.org.uk, or call 0117 340 6529).
Both the survey and the interview are for the parents or carers of a child or young person aged from 0-25 years who has speech, language and communication needs.  This survey is part of a study led by Prof Sue Roulstone (susan.roulstone@uwe.ac.uk) from the Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit and the University of the West of England, on behalf of The Communication Trust.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NEW - Guide for commissioners from Better Communication CIC supported by The Communication Trust

The Communication Trust have announced the release of a new resource available to support the commissioning of services for children and young people with SLCN.  This resource is based on the findings of the landmark Better Communication Research Programme commissioned following the Bercow Review.

Prof Sue Roulstone and Dr Yvonne Wren of the Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit and the University of the West of England, who led those aspects of the Better Communication Research Programme based here in Bristol, welcomed the new resource: ‘It is very exciting to see such a useful application of our research. Marie Gascoigne, the developer of the resource has a wealth of experience in working with commissioners and has identified the key findings of relevance to the commissioning process”

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Population approaches to identification, prediction and outcomes of children with lasting language impairment

The Bristol Speech& Language Therapy Research Unit are pleased to welcome Dr Penny Levickis on Thursday 9th April from 3.00 to 5.00 pm to speak on:

Population approaches to identification, prediction and outcomes of children with lasting language impairment

Penny Levickis is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.   After developing a novel mechanism for the rigorous coding of a large number of parent-child interactions as part of her PhD, she demonstrated that specific maternal linguistic behaviours predict preschool language outcomes in a community-based sample of slow-to-talk toddlers. She is now extending this work to examine the extent to which maternal responsive behaviours may be measured in addition to the traditional use of low language status in the early years to identify those children most at risk of persistent language impairment. Penny and colleagues are also following up a large community-based cohort of children as they turn 9 years of age to develop a risk chart for health professionals to use as a method of predicting absolute risk of lasting language impairment.

During the afternoon other members of the team at BSLTRU will present other ongoing research about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

Venue: Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit, Frenchay Hospital (Yes  -this will be one of the last events in the research unit) Bristol BS16 1LE.

There will be a small charge of £10, payable on arrival to support our costs. Please contact Fay.Smith@speech-therapy.org.uk for further details and register here.

Details of presentations below.


Dr Penny Levickis
Population approaches to identification, prediction and outcomes of children with lasting language impairment

Penny Levickis is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language (CRE-CL) at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.  After developing a novel mechanism for the rigorous coding of a large number of parent-child interactions as part of her PhD, she demonstrated that specific maternal linguistic behaviours predict preschool language outcomes in a community-based sample of slow-to-talk toddlers. She is now extending this work to examine the extent to which maternal responsive behaviours may be measured in addition to the traditional use of low language status in the early years to identify those children most at risk of persistent language impairment. Penny and colleagues are also following up a large community-based cohort of children as they turn 9 years of age to develop a risk chart for health professionals to use as a method of predicting absolute risk of lasting language impairment. 




Inge Klatte
An examination of parent-child interaction therapy in practice

Inge is a Dutch Speech & language therapist completing a three month internship at the Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU). For her Master’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences her thesis is about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).
There is a lot of variation in PCIT approaches: between the original interventions, in the way they have been examined, and, in the way speech and language therapists (SLTs) deliver the intervention. This study aims to find the overlapping, critical components of the PCIT interventions, according to the manuals of the existing approaches, the literature and the SLTs. Also, via interviews Inge will explore the rationales SLTs give for the way they structure their interventions.

    

Dr Yvonne Wren.
Using LENA to explore parent-child interaction

Yvonne is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the National Institute of Health Research and member of the research team at BSLTRU. As part of the research for her fellowship, Yvonne is exploring the use of LENA, a device for recording and analysing the speech environment of children from 2 months of age upwards. The audio recording device is worn by the child within a t-shirt or similar and records the child’s speech and their environment for 16 continuous hours. Yvonne will share some pilot data on using LENA.


  
Prof Sue Roulstone
Understanding the effectiveness of adult-child interactions as a component of intervention in pre-school children with primary speech and language impairments

Sue is Professor Emeritus at the University of the West of England and a member of the team at BSLTRU. Over the last few years, Sue has led a programme of research called Child Talk which has examined current clinical practice for pre-school children with primary speech and language impairments, identifying the various components of intervention and the related evidence. This presentation will examine the facilitation of adult-child interactions in therapy in relation to other components of intervention and in terms of the underpinning evidence. As well as presenting findings from Child Talk, Sue will present some ideas that are being worked up as bids for further research funding.



Monday, 23 March 2015

Make sure your voice in heard in the new CQLive!

The RCSLT is co-creating CQLive with its members. The successor to CQ3 will consist of a set of standards and resources to support SLTs to deliver a high-quality service that integrates the HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

BSLTRU lead by Dr Yvonne Wren is helping to facilitate this in the South West by inviting you to a face to face meeting as part of the process.

Aims and objectives of the face-to-face discussion sessions:

· To generate in-depth insight about one aspect of the HCPC standard of conduct, performance and ethics, with respect to the SLT profession.

· To give RCSLT members an opportunity to contribute to shaping CQ Live in person.

The Bristol CQlive meeting will focus on the following key area ‘Promote and safeguard the interests of service users and carers’.

For more information and to book a place, seehttp://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cqlive-face-to-face-discussio

Places are limited to just 20 so do book quickly if you are interested in attending.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Dr Penny Levickis is coming to Bristol

The Bristol Speech& Language Therapy Research Unit are pleased to welcome Dr Penny Levickis
On Thursday 9 th April from 3.00 to 5.00pm Dr Levickis will speak on:
Population approaches to identification, prediction and outcomes of children with lasting language impairment
Penny Levickis is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.   After developing a novel mechanism for the rigorous coding of a large number of parent-child interactions as part of her PhD, she demonstrated that specific maternal linguistic behaviours predict preschool language outcomes in a community-based sample of slow-to-talk toddlers. She is now extending this work to examine the extent to which maternal responsive behaviours may be measured in addition to the traditional use of low language status in the early years to identify those children most at risk of persistent language impairment. Penny and colleagues are also following up a large community-based cohort of children as they turn 9 years of age to develop a risk chart for health professionals to use as a method of predicting absolute risk of lasting language impairment. 
During the afternoon other members of the team at BSLTRU will present other ongoing research about Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

Venue: Bristol Speech & Language Therapy Research Unit, Frenchay Hospital (this will be one of the last events in the research unit before we move to our new offices in Southmead Hospital) Bristol BS16 1LE.

There will be a small charge of £10, payable on arrival to support our costs. Please contact Fay.Smith@speech-therapy.org.uk to let us know if you are coming and/or for further details.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Centre for Health and Clinical Research Conference

On the 5th of November the University of the West of England Centre for Health and Clinical Research (CHCR) hosted a half day conference titled Health research for impact. The conference covered a wide range of talks on topics including patient public involvement, emergency and critical care, long term conditions, child health, health technology and ethics, and evaluation. It was fantastic to see people from diverse health related disciplines come together to discuss the impact of research.
Conference opening!

The Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU) was fortunate to have a strong presence of the conference with 5 members of staff from BSLTRU giving oral presentations, in addition to PhD student Anna Blackwell having a poster at the conference.

Three presentations from BLSTRU were on findings from the NIHR funded programme ‘Child Talk’ which focused on the development of interventions for primary school children with primary speech and language impairment (PSLI). Lydia Morgan gave a brief overview of the 3 year programme, describing a typology of practice that has emerged from the research. The typology aims to represent the aims of therapy for preschool with PSLI children, and will be hosted on a website, with associated evidence. Part of the evidence for the typology includes a systematic review which our senior researcher on the Child Talk programme, Sam Harding, presented on.  Sam provided a really valuable talk regarding the lessons that can be taken from the review, including advice to all researchers on enhancing the quality and usefulness of research.

Lydia Morgan presenting at the conference
The project manager for Child Talk, Rebecca Coad spoke about the involvement of parents as partners in the Child Talk project. This talk was particularly praised by a champion of patient involvement in research who were encouraged to see a real success story in terms of patient involvement, with useful ideas about engaging and supporting patients to be involved.

Yvonne Wren gave a really engaging talk on her exploration of data from the Avon Longitudinal study. Patterns of speech production of children with persistent speech disorder and children who were typically developing, at 8 years old, were compared and discussed and the clinical implication considered.

The director of the unit, Karen Sage, gave a talk on the use of research outcome measures for participants with aphasia. This work highlighted the value in including and consulting those with health conditions in the development of outcomes. She discussed findings from participants with aphasia in  terms of where they would most like to see change in their communication,  as well as and how aphasia affects their lives.


The conference provided an excellent forum to engage with others in related disciplines, to disseminate our research and to learn lessons about how health research can have impact. It was great to see the BSLTRU’s research so well represented, indicating the important role we have for health research in the region.