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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

CHATTER Programme: Communication Holistic Adjustment Therapy Targeted at Empowering Relatives

Louise Steer

Hywel Dda University Health Board

The Project:

The development of a virtual speech & language therapy educational programme for family members to support those with speech and language difficulties.

Project Outcomes:

The outcome of the project was the development of a therapy package to better meet the needs of relatives supporting long-term communication needs after an acquired neurological condition.
The creation of the package included content and tools that enabled the following outcomes to be achieved:

· Increase in number of relatives that are being routinely screened and identified within the service

· Better confidence levels and resources within the workforce to identify unmet needs of relatives as part of clinical practice

· Raised awareness levels of role of Speech & Language Therapy in facilitating relatives participation in rehabilitation

· Relatives attending the group report having a better understanding of how to cope with and manage ongoing communication needs in the community.

· Increased carer quality of life scores

· Better feelings of connection for group participants, reported to feel less isolated.

Given that carer isolation and lack of social connections is a comparable risk factor for death as smoking, this programme is helping to save lives as well as improve them.

Project Impact:

“As a recently qualified Speech & Language Therapist with a keen interest in neuro, I wanted to provide the best person-centred care I could. However, I did not really know how to do it, or spot those families that were struggling the most. The CHATTER programme’s screening tool has been invaluable for me to more confidently engage with relatives from the beginning”

JV, Band 5 SLT