Amy Williams - Speech and Language Therapist
When choosing a therapist, it is important to take into consideration their background, experience and credentials. Here is a little bit about me.
I have been practising as a Speech and Language Therapist for 13 years.
I started off life in South Woodham Ferrers, attending William De Ferrers School and Sixth Form and at the age of 18, I decided to study to become a Speech and Language Therapist at DeMontfort University, Leicester. I gained a BSc Hons in Human Communication which qualified me to begin practising as a Speech and Language Therapist and register with the Health and Care Professions Council and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
After four years in Leicester, I returned home to Essex.
I started work at South East Essex Primary Care Trust, as it was known at the time. I worked in a rotational post between adult and children services. I began managing two community children speech and language therapy clinic caseloads in Canvey Island and Rayleigh.I then proceeded to rotate to the adult service where I worked in Southend Hospital's stroke unit and had an acquired and progressive neurological conditions community caseload too.
During this first year of working, I was able to complete my newly qualified SLT competencies and my basic dysphagia training.
After nearly two years working between children and adult services, I 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, I was able to further develop my dysphagia skills by completing a post graduate, MSc module in Adult dysphagia at Sheffield Hallam University. I also completed my tracheostomy dysphagia assessment and videofluoroscopy RCSLT competencies.
I not only developed my skills in stroke and dysphagia but began to have an outpatient caseload which developed my skills of working with people with progressive neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, primary progressive aphasia and dementia and also worked with patients with head and neck cancer.
I became a Connect trainer with the ability to teach other professionals skills in communicating with people with aphasia and other communication impairments. I also guest lectured at Essex University, sharing my expertise of working with people who had communication and swallowing impairments following stroke.
In October 2012, I took 3 months leave to travel and do something I had always dreamed of. I had the privilege of teaching neurology to 22 Speech and Language Therapy students and practising at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Savar, Bangladesh. It was an incredible experience that tested and enriched all of my clinical skills and more! Whilst there, I was also lucky to participate in a "cleft camp", helping with the aftercare of children following surgery to repair their cleft lip and palate.
When I returned to the UK, after five years at Basildon Hospital, I 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 are many, many highlights of my 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.
Personal highlights of my time at Homerton included buying our family home in Rayleigh, Essex, getting married to my wonderful husband and being blessed with two beautiful sons.
Throughout my career, I have developed my independent practice outside of my NHS working hours, covering various different speech, language and swallowing disorders in adults and children. I have developed a keen interest in Child Speech Disorders, alongside my work with adults, most recently attending further training at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
I continue to work part time at Homerton Hospital but in a few weeks time, I am stepping away from the NHS to pursue my independent practice that I have built up over my career and to bring balance to our family life. I feel so grateful for all the many experiences I have already had and I am really looking forward to this next stage!