What we do

Our team of SLTs provide specialist assessment to diagnose and treat a range of communication and swallowing disorders within our three acute hospitals. We only see patients aged 18 or over. For paediatric enquiries, please visit the Paediatric Services pages.

Routine bedside assessment

We offer a range of treatments for inpatients with communication or swallowing difficulties. We provide specialist assessment at bedside on the ward in the first instance. Following assessment, clinical recommendations are made to optimise our patients swallowing and communication. Goals are set and a plan of care is agreed with the multi-disciplinary team. Many difficulties can be successfully managed through bedside assessment.

Videofluoroscopy and FEES (Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing)

Some of our patients have complex difficulties with swallowing and require a more detailed assessment of swallowing to support their diagnosis and treatment and ensure that swallowing is as safe and comfortable as possible. We provide a videofluoroscopy and FEES clinic at all three acute hospital sites. Both examinations enable the SLT to see exactly what happens during swallowing, informing specialist recommendation of exercises, different positions to eat or drink in, or different types of food or drink.

Videofluoroscopy is a specialist assessment of swallowing using x-ray to examine swallowing difficulties in detail. A variety of different foods and drinks mixed with barium are trialled under x ray conditions.

FEES (Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) is a specialist assessment of swallowing which involves the passing of a small nasendoscope through one nostril to the back of the mouth to view the throat  whilst eating and drinking.

Specialist services

At EKHUFT we offer services across a range of clinical specialties including head and neck cancer, neuro rehabilitation, intensive treatment and stroke.

Head and Neck

Our head and neck cancer service is provided by our Macmillan Specialist SLTwho provides inpatient and outpatient services for people with a recent diagnosis of head and neck cancer.​ Please telephone 01227 783111 for further information.

Neuro Rehab

East Kent Neuro Rehabilitation Unit is based at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. It is a 19-bed Consultant-led unit which provides multidisciplinary in-patient rehabilitation for adults with acquired neurological conditions. The SLT assesses and manages swallowing difficulties, language impairments, motor speech disorders and cognitive-communication difficulties. The unit accepts referrals for people living across the entire East Kent area.


Stroke services are covered by a small team of specialist SLTs across the three acute sites. All stroke patients are screened for swallowing difficulties on admission and referred to our service for specialist assessment of swallowing if needed. We also assess, diagnose and provide targeted therapy for a range of communication difficulties including aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia of speech and cognitive communication disorder. We work closely with the multi-disciplinary team including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, neuropsychology and dietetics.

Critical Care

Critical care includes our Intensive Treatment Units (ITU) and Coronary Care Unit (CCU). Our highly specialist therapists provide a service to these wards treating complex patients, to support communication, to assess and manage dysphagia and to work as part of the multidisciplinary team for tracheostomy weaning.