National innovation award for Northern Trust speech therapy team

A team of speech and language therapists (SLTs) from Northern Ireland have won a national innovation award for contribution to their profession.

The annual Giving Voice awards, run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), highlight the life-changing work of speech and language therapists and celebrate the creativity and commitment to the profession.

Ruth Crampton Speech and Language Therapist at the Northern Trust received the Giving Voice Innovation award on behalf of her team at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on Tuesday 10th October.

The team ran a treasure trail to launch the ‘Seven signs of speech, language and communication disorders’, a booklet aimed to help GPs to identify a variety of communication and swallowing difficulties.

The ‘Seven Signs treasure trails’ took place across Northern Ireland in October 2012 in six different towns around Northern Ireland including Belfast, Newcastle, Lisburn, Bangor, Carrickfergus and Ballycastle, the local community were encouraged to take part in treasure trails, using written and verbal communication. Speech and language therapists from each of the five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland worked together to ensure the day was a success.

Ruth says “What started as an idea to promote our profession across the Northern Trust extended much further than I imagined. It was fantastic to see SLTs from across Northern Ireland work together to promote our generally misinterpreted profession.

The treasure trails were extremely successful and the general public who we had the opportunity to engage with were very receptive to what they were told. I feel very honoured to have received this award on behalf of the treasure trails team.”

Mildred Bell, Head of Speech and Language Therapists and Associated Services Northern Trust, said: “The work that had been undertaken by Ruth reflects her commitment to the development of services for people with speech language and communication needs. Ruth has led on this work not only within the Northern Trust but with others across Northern Ireland. She is a valued member of the service and is to be commended for this achievement.”

Kamini Gadhok, Chief Executive of the RCSLT says: “This is a fantastic example of thinking outside the box to raise awareness of an important issue in a fun and engaging way. We were very impressed to hear that over 300 people participated in the event, including MLAs. This is a very well-deserved win for the team at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.”

25th October 2013

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