Project ProfileDysphagia Competency Model North West

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) work with clients with eating, drinking and swallowing (EDS) difficulties. Newly qualified (NQ) SLTs usually need to develop these competencies after graduation, which requires clinical supervision by experienced SLTs. The project was instigated following debate in the profession regarding how best to support newly qualified SLTs in developing EDS competencies given the context of limited time and resources for supervison.

Comments welcome

If you have any comments we would be pleased to hear from you, we will shortly be looking for participants who can help with the voting process. Please contact Jois Stansfield, Susan Guthrie or John Lancaster.

Principal InvestigatorJois Stansfield

  • Start Date1 July, 2014
  • End Date1 June, 2015

Project TeamJois Stansfield, Susan Guthrie, John Lancaster, Julie Phillips, Janice Murray, Janet Edwards, Kay Faulkner

Projects Aims

  1. Scope current practice of developing competencies and supervisory frameworks for the management of EDS for NQ SLTs
  2. Develop a new consensus model for developing competencies for the management of EDS difficulties for NQ SLTs
  3. Recommend systems for NQ SLTs to access the appropriate level of supervision to enable timely achievement of, and a consistent approach to, post-qualification EDS competencies

Activity

The team has reviewed relevant literature in the field of competency development. From the review themes regarding best practice for developing competency and in particular developing competency in the field of eating, drinking and swallowing (EDS) have been highlighted.

Interviews with experts in the field of EDS were also carried out to investigate expert opinion regarding best practice for developing competency in managing EDS difficulties. Experts were interviewed from a range of backgrounds including adult learning difficulties, paediatric, adult acute, mental health. The themes that emerged from the interviews were combined with the themes from the literature review to produce a set of themes related to best practice in developing competencies in newly qualified clinicans working in the field of EDS difficulties.

Project Update - March 2015

Thank you to all who took the time to complete our latest survey. The returns on our 'Delphi' surveys so far are showing consensus for many aspects of implementation of dysphagia competency. The attitudes and opinions sections give insight into how SLTs view the process of training up new graduates and there are some aspects which remain contentious. The results will further inform this project’s recommendations for a model of good practice.¬†Variation in settings and flexibility will be acknowledged in this model.

Ideas and opinions have also been canvassed at meetings including Profnet, ALD dysphagia and CEN for clinical education (Leeds). The discussions will continue with the current Delphi survey (round 2) sent out on 11 March. It is hoped this will resolve remaining aspects and SLTs are encouraged to vote on the options appropriate to their individual situations. You are encouraged to use this to make your ideas and concerns known. Go to the survey

The new RCSLT framework was launched this month and is a welcome resource for the profession. 

We will be presenting current progress on our model for implementation in the North West at the launch event at University of Manchester on 22 April. Further information if you wish to attend is available from Janet Edwards or Catherine Adams.

Our project will incorporate the recommendations of the RCSLT framework and inform implementation for SLT working in the North West. Participation so far has been good and has included SLTs across the region representing a wide range of clinical and geographical settings and also both independent and NHS. Please make sure you participate in the surveys or contact us directly to make sure your ideas and situation are reflected in the recommendations for a final model.

Project Update - May 2015

Our 3 surveys have now been completed across SLTs working in the North west and student SLTs studying in Manchester. We selected a sample of SLT participants to cover a representative range of clinical and geographical settings.

We used a Delphi process where participants were asked to vote on a series of statements drawn from the findings of our interviews and preliminary survey. For each item we asked for opinion and also rationale for each decision. This allowed us to redesign the survey and repeat the process to measure consensus across different settings and caseloads.

Our surveys are now closed but you are still welcome to contact us to offer your opinions and experiences in developing dysphagia competency amongst SLTs. This project has been funded to consider newly qualified SLTs but the findings may inform SLTs with more experience who wish to move into dysphagia practice.

In April we presented our current findings at the RCSLT launch of the new Dysphagia competency framework and learned more about the different barriers and solutions for SLTs in the North west implementing competency development.

This month (May) we have presented the project at the European SLT conference (CPLOL) in Florence, Italy. This was well received and brought the work to a wider attention. We gained insight into the ways SLTs work with dysphagia and education across Europe.

Launch of Model: we invite all SLTs, colleagues, students and stakeholders to join us at our launch event on 22 June at 4pm to celebrate the completed model and share solutions for good practice. Book your place

Project Update - February 2016

Our 3 surveys were completed across SLTs working in the North west and student SLTs studying in Manchester. We selected a sample of SLT participants to cover a representative range of clinical and geographical settings.

We used a Delphi process where participants were asked to vote on a series of statements drawn from the findings of our interviews and preliminary survey. For each item we asked for opinion and also rationale for each decision. This allowed us to redesign the survey and repeat the process to measure consensus across different settings and caseloads.

Our surveys are now closed and we are grateful to all those who took the time to voice opinions and experiences in developing dysphagia competency amongst SLTs. This project has been funded to consider newly qualified SLTs but the findings may inform SLTs with more experience who wish to move into dysphagia practice.

In April 2015 we presented our current findings at the RCSLT launch of the new Dysphagia competency framework and learned more about the different barriers and solutions for SLTs in the North west implementing competency development.

In May 2015 we presented the project at the European SLT conference (CPLOL) in Florence, Italy. This was well received and brought the work to a wider attention. We gained insight into the ways SLTs work with dysphagia and education across Europe.

Launch of Model: SLTs, colleagues, students and stakeholders were invited to join us at our launch event on 22 June at 4pm at Birley, MMU to celebrate the completed model and share solutions for good practice. Full details of the project are available (link) with a summary document (link). These have also been published on the NW AHP website and the project is being written up for publication (RCSLT Bulletin, expected April 2016) and for submission to IJLCD. We are grateful to our steering group for their ongoing support and to HENW for their funding.

Jois Stansfield; Susan Guthrie; John Lancaster

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