The eligibility criteria of the service is as follows:
- Live within either Hornsby or Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas (LGAs)
- Have a current Medicare cardHave a suspected communication and / or swallowing difficulty
- Developmental or cognitive abilities fall within the range of mild delay, borderline, average and above average.
- Clients aged 18 years and above are eligible for the adult service.
Clients who do not meet these eligibility criteria will be provided with
information on how to access the appropriate relevant service.
Contact the Speech Pathology Administration Officer on 9477 9554.
Referrals for swallowing impairments are prioritised. Please advice the administration officer that the referral is for a swallowing assessment when you call.
In addition to the services described above the Speech Pathology Department provides a number of speciality services:
Modified Barium Swallow (Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study)
A Modified Barium Swallow (MBS) study is a moving x-ray ('videofluroscopy') of swallowing. It allows visualisation of oral and pharyngeal structures, examines physiology with different food/fluid types, bolus sizes and effects of compensatory strategies. A bedside/clinical examination by a Speech Pathologist is required before an MBS can be performed. Currently, MBS studies are performed at Connect Radiology, Hornsby (53 Palmerston Road) by HKHS Speech Pathologists and are conducted for adult inpatients and outpatients.
Fibreoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) is an objective swallow assessment that allows for direct visualisation of the structures and physiology of swallowing. This is performed at the patient's bedside, Day Hospital or ENT outpatient clinic in conjunction with ENT. This enables assessment of swallow and voice function, compensatory swallow positions or techniques and can be used as biofeedback for the patient in swallow therapy.
Lee Silverman Voice Therapy
LSVT stands for the Lee Silverman Voice Technique. It is an extensively researched intensive voice treatment programme developed to improve the speech and voice in Parkinson's disease. The goal is to improve the intelligibility of a person’s speech by increasing vocal loudness. There is
also evidence to demonstrate improvements in vocal quality, speech articulation, facial expression, posture and swallowing. Individuals who
participate in LSVT® are first required to attend an ENT examination to make
sure there are no contraindications to participating in therapy.
It is a condition of LSVT® that the clinician has completed the accredited training in this course. The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Speech Pathology Service has clinicians accredited in providing the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program.
The service also provides an LSVT maintenance group which concentrates on reviewing the voice exercises and reinforcing the use of LOUD voice in conversational speech. This group runs quarterly and is located in the Bernard Curran Rehab Unit at HKH. Participants must have completed the
full LSVT program with an accredited LSVT Speech Pathologist to be included in this group.
Speech Pathologists assess and manage swallowing and communication for people with tracheostomy, including provision of non-verbal communication aids as required. Speech Pathologists also work closely with the multidisciplinary team to provide advice on the weaning process.
The Speech Pathology Department provides an inpatient assessment and therapy service to patients located in the two rehabilitation wards at Hornsby Hospital. Comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and tailored goal-oriented therapy programs for in-patients with acquired communication and/or swallowing problems. Treatment is conducted in a multidisciplinary setting with a patient centred approach.
Outpatient rehabilitation is provided via our outpatient service delivered in the Bernard Curran Rehabilitation Unit. Intervention is holistic and goal setting with the patient and carers is essential in determining the treatment provided. Options for intervention include impairment based therapy, functional therapy, computer based therapy, compensatory strategies, group therapy and education and support to the individual and carers may be provided.
The HKHS Speech Pathology service does not have a community position and therefore access to home visits is very limited. Patients who are unable to attend the Bernard Curran Rehabilitation Unit for a swallowing assessment or review may be provided with a home visit if staffing capacity allows on a one off basis. Patients requiring more frequent home visits for swallowing management or those wishing to have therapy in the home
for communication difficulties will need to access private therapy.
Information regarding key Speech Pathology topics and to search for a private Speech Pathologist, contact: