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Our waiting times

We still have a longer than usual wait for initial assessments following the impacts of Covid-19. We are working as quickly as we can to see children.

Child playing with NurseWe support children with speech, language and communication and/or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties in North Derbyshire (including Chesterfield, High Peak and the northern part of Derbyshire Dales).

On this page, you will find information about our service and how to make a referral to us. If you're concerned about your child's speech and language development, you can also find helpful handouts and videos demonstrating actions you can use at home/in school.

We work with children who have difficulties with:

  • Speech sounds (learning or pronouncing speech sounds). 
  • Language (understanding or using words, sentences or paragraphs).
  • Social communication (understanding the unspoken 'rules' of interaction and conversation such as turn-taking, sticking to a topic etc).
  • Stammering and dysfluency.
  • Eating, drinking or swallowing.

Our Speech and Language Therapists will identify each child's individual communication strengths and needs and support the development of skills in the child, alongside their carers and teachers. 

These needs may be associated with wider needs or a diagnosis (such as autism, hearing impairment, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy etc) or may exist on their own. 

We work in a variety of settings including family homes, schools and nurseries to support children and young people between the ages of 0-19 years. 

We work in close partnership with other Specialist Children's Services and with our colleagues in local authority social and educational services at a local and regional level. We are a partner in the Speech, Language and Communication Needs Pathway. 

Video consultations

Many families found video consultations more convenient during COVID-19. Where this works well, we may continue to use this as an assessment or intervention option. This will depend on the clinical needs we are working on.

Support with travel costs

If you have been referred to Speech and Language Therapy by a healthcare professional and feel you need assistance to support travel costs, you may be eligible for support under the healthcare travel cost scheme. 

Our service supports children who are registered with a GP in North Derbyshire. This includes Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire, Bolsover and South Normanton, the northern part of Derbyshire Dales and High Peak.

We offer clinic appointments at the following community locations:

  • Bolsover Clinic
  • Buxton Health Centre
  • Chesterfield, The Den
  • Clay Cross Clinic
  • Clowne, Springs Health Centre
  • Dronfield Clinic
  • Eckington Clinic
  • Killamarsh Clinic
  • Matlock, Whitworth Hospital
  • New Mills Clinic
  • Shirebrook Health Centre
  • Staveley Clinic

As well as community clinics, children are seen in mainstream and special schools, nurseries, and their own homes. We also use NHS Attend Anywhere and your child may be offered a video appointment using this platform.

For all enquiries, please contact:

Children’s Therapy Service
The Den,
Chesterfield Royal Hospital,
S44 5BL

Telephone: 01246 514624
Email: crhft.childrens.therapies@nhs.net

If your GP is not in North Derbyshire, please contact your local SLT service:

Who can be referred to our service?

Anyone can make a referral to the Speech and Language Therapy Service, as long as parents have given their signed consent. Children are prioritised according to their needs and some children may be offered advice and signposting and may not need to see a speech and language therapist.

If you are a parent/carer and have concerns about your child’s speech, language, communication or feeding difficulties, speak to your health visitor or your child’s teacher. They will know what to do and who to contact and will follow professional guidelines.

If you are a professional and have concerns, contact the child’s health visitor or the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) in the child’s educational setting who will follow an integrated speech, language and communication pathway.

We can only accept referrals for children who have a GP in the North Derbyshire Area.

For children over 7 years of age, we can only accept a referral if there is:

  • A significant disparity between communication and other levels of development
  • Significant change in social communication difficulties; please note these need to be evidenced by school reports and/or educational psychology reports
  • A stammer
  • Persistent hoarseness or other voice disorder following referral to ENT
  • Traumatic brain injury resulting in communication impairment
  • Any condition where the loss of previously acquired skills is apparent.

How to make a referral

If you want to refer a child for speech, language or communication difficulties or difficulties with feeding/swallowing, you can do so using the request for support form.

The following Developmental Information sheets may help you to decide if a referral is appropriate. You can complete these and send them with your Request for Support Form if they support your referral.

If you are making a referral for a child who has difficulty in pronouncing certain speech sounds, it can be helpful to complete and send in the speech screening assessment below AS WELL AS the Request For Support Form. We will sometimes send you this to complete if we need additional information before accepting the request for support.

Once the referral has been accepted, parents/carers will be sent a 'case history' form to fill in. This must be completed and returned to us within 4 weeks. If it is not returned, we will be unable to book your first appointment. If you require another copy of this to complete, please phone 01246 514624

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are supported by our speech and language therapists in a range of settings including nurseries, mainstream and special schools, the child's home and in clinics across North Derbyshire. 

Children with special educational needs and disabilities will often have some speech, language and communication needs and/or eating/drinking difficulties which will have been identified as part of their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and Inclusion Funding. Our therapists work with the staff at schools and nurseries to identify the most effective way to support an individual child. This may involve:

  • Working at a whole-school level to develop a communication-friendly environment.
  • Working directly with an individual child for a specified time to deliver an identified package of care. 
  • Providing training to education staff, social care staff and parents/carers to support the child's needs. 

For some children, the school environment will be very well-placed to meet their communication and social needs. In this instance, speech and language therapy services will not need to provide continued input. 

Further information and useful links:

  • Derbyshire Local Offer - For information about support services available in the local area for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, and their families. 
  • Derbyshire Information, Advice and Support Service (DIASS) - For independent information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), as well as their parents/carers. 
  • Derbyshire Parent/Carer Forums - Parent Carer Voice for parents and carers in Derbyshire with children and young people with additional needs and disabilities. Parent Carer forums are led by parents/carers of children with SEND. They support parents/carers of children with SEND and help parents/carers have a voice in local SEND provision. 

Our YouTube Channel

Are you looking for some more specific advice? Have you already been seen by a Speech and Language Therapist and have been given a programme to work through? If so, please have a look at our YouTube Channel where you will find information videos and videos demonstrating activities/strategies.

Information and advice about speech, language and communication difficulties in children and young people can be found on the following websites:

  • ACE North
    Information about alternative and augmentative communication support www.ace-north.org.uk
  • Afasic
    Afasic is a charity set up to help children and young people with speech and language difficulties and their families. www.afasicengland.org.uk
  • Stamma.org
    Information and support on stammering/stuttering, and Stamma services and activities for adults and children. www.stamma.org
  • Derbyshire Language Scheme
    The DLS is aimed to improve a child’s understanding and use of language through structured activities. www.derbyshire-language-scheme.co.uk 
  • Downs Syndrome Association (DSA)
    ‘Information and support on all aspects of living with Down’s Syndrome for all who need it’. www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
  • Nuffield Dyspraxia Foundation
    Information about dyspraxia www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk
  • Elklan
    Information and resources to support the development of children’s speech and language. www.elklan.co.uk
  • Speech and Language UK
    A children’s charity that specifically supports children with communication difficulties. www.speechandlanguage.org.uk
  • The Hanen Centre
    A website for parents and educators of preschool children. www.hanen.org
  • Makaton
    Information on Makaton signing, resources and training. www.makaton.org  
  • National Autistic Society (NAS)
    Information about autism and Asperger’s syndrome and NAS services and activities. www.autism.org.uk
  • Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
    Website of the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK. www.rcslt.org.uk
  • Talking Point
    Information and resources for parents of children with communication difficulties and professionals working with them. www.talkingpoint.org.uk

(The Trust cannot be responsible for information held within external websites).

If we haven’t been able to answer your questions, or if you have any concerns, you can also contact the hospital’s PALS team. 

The PALS office is in the main entrance and is open: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Telephone: 01246 512640 or 513742
Email: crhft.acs@nhs.net