DIRECTOR AND CLINICAL LEAD SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPIST
When choosing a therapist, it is important to take into consideration their background, experience and credentials.
Amy Williams has been practising as a Speech and Language Therapist for over 15 years. She is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Health Care Professionals Council and the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice.
She started her career by studying "Human Communication" and gaining a BSc Hons and her professional qualification in 2006, at DeMontfort University, Leicester. After four years in Leicester, she returned to her much loved home of Essex.
Amy started work at South East Essex Primary Care Trust, as it was known at the time, in a rotational post between adult and children services. During this first year of working, she was able to complete her newly qualified SLT competencies and basic dysphagia training.
After nearly two years working between children and adult services, Amy decided to begin to specialise in stroke and gained a Senior Speech and Language Therapist post at Basildon Hospital, working on the stroke unit there. Whilst at Basildon Hospital, she was able to further develop her dysphagia skills by completing a post graduate, MSc module in Adult dysphagia at Sheffield Hallam University. She also completed her tracheostomy dysphagia assessment and videofluoroscopy RCSLT competencies.
During this time, Amy not only developed her skills in stroke and dysphagia but began to have an outpatient caseload which developed skills in working with people with progressive neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, primary progressive aphasia and dementia and patients with head and neck cancer.
Amy became a Connect trainer with the ability to teach other professionals skills in communicating with people with aphasia and other communication impairments. She also guest lectured at Essex University, sharing her expertise of working with people who had communication and swallowing impairments following stroke.
In October 2012, Amy had the privilege of teaching neurology to 22 Speech and Language Therapy students at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Savar, Bangladesh. It was an incredible experience that tested and enriched all of her clinical skills and more! Whilst there, she was also lucky to participate in a "cleft camp", helping with the aftercare of children following surgery to repair their cleft lip and palate.
Upon returning to the UK, after five years at Basildon Hospital, she decided it was time for a change and gained a role as a Senior Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at Homerton Hospital, which is renowned for it's neurological rehabilitation services. There were many highlights of her time at Homerton but a few include: being a lead therapist within the Hackney and City Stroke service, leading the videofluroscopy service at the hospital, developing external training courses for Speech and Language Therapists, completing masters level post graduate training in clinical leadership and developing a new service pathway for Speech and Language Therapy within the Integrated Independence Team in Hackney.
Throughout and alongside her NHS career, Amy has continued to develop her independent practice covering various different speech, language and swallowing disorders in adults and children. She has developed a keen interest in Child Speech Disorders, alongside her work with adults with neurological conditions, most recently attending further training at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
In December 2019, Amy took the decision to step away from the NHS to further pursue her independent practice and bring balance to her family life with her husband and two small boys, in Rayleigh, Essex.
Amy continues her professional development by attending courses and clinical excellence network meetings. She continues to undertake regular clinical supervision with leading specialists in her fields of practice.
Amy regularly liaises with other NHS and Independent Speech and Language Therapists in her professional network and she is currently Chair of the local Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) group. Amy has also created a course, "Chatty Babies" for new parents, to promote babies communication skills from birth - something she has developed from her professional knowledge and personal experience.
A real passion for Amy is providing regular placements for student Speech and Language Therapists from Essex University, to share her wide range of professional knowledge and experience to future Speech and Language Therapists.
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE ASSISTANT
Kate is a Speech and Language Student in her final year at the University of Essex. Before studying, Kate worked on the stroke unit, at a busy hospital, as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant.
Kate was fortunate enough to meet lots of patients and support them with their communication or swallowing difficulties. Kate has always enjoyed getting to know the patients and working with them to reach their goals.
Kate is particularly interested in apraxia and aphasia. Kate also has a background of working in a school with hearing impaired children.
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE ASSISTANT
Grace's interest in Speech and Language started in her final year of her BSc Psychology degree at Sheffield Hallam University. Grace loved learning about the developmental milestones children reach in their play, attention skills, autism and neuroanatomy, which allowed Grace to take an interest in Speech and Language Therapy as a career. Grace worked as a teaching assistant in an SEN primary school for a year, where she worked alongside a Speech Therapist and other professionals. Grace learnt various assessments and intervention techniques for a range of learning disabilities. After this, Grace achieved a place on the MSc Speech and Language Therapy course at City University of London, which she is in the final months of completing. Grace has learnt a lot through her course and placements which have allowed her to learn new skills and knowledge, preparing her to become a a Speech and Language Therapist.
Lorna carries out the administration duties, including answering enquiries via the telephone and email systems, booking appointments, completing invoicing, and assisting the team with any other duties as required.