To help us continue to improve our service, this web site uses cookies. They cannot be used to identify you. Using this site implies an agreement to continue accepting them. For more details please see managing the cookies we use.  

Patients & Visitors

Speech and Language Therapy

ENT / Head & Neck Cancer (H&N) Service

The H&N Service provides assessment, advice and treatment to adults who are living with or have experienced head and neck cancer. To be seen by the SLT service, the person must be living within BaNES, have a BaNES GP or are under the current management of the RUH ENT and/or Oncology service.

People with the following conditions would benefit from being seen by Speech and Language Therapy:

  • Any cancer of the head and neck affecting speech production or swallowing function
  • Laryngectomy
  • Trismus (limited jaw mobility)
  • Speech or swallowing difficulties following radiotherapy
  • Speech or swallowing difficulties following surgery for head or neck cancer
  • Planned radiotherapy to the head or neck region
  • Planned laryngectomy surgery

Opening times

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday service
9am – 5pm (on the above days).

How to refer

Head and Neck Cancer referrals:

  • Referrals can be made from ENT Oncology Consultants, Registrars, Junior Doctors or the Head and Neck Cancer nurses within the hospital
  • Referrals for inpatients with H&N cancer can be made using Millennium
  • GPs can also make referrals into the service
  • We are unable to accept self-referrals from a person who is experiencing swallowing difficulties – they need to be referred by a medical practitioner or member of the MDT
  • Many referrals are made directly from the ENT / H&N cancer MDT meeting held on a weekly basis


Urgent inpatient referrals will frequently been seen on the same day as referral. Most service users undergoing H&N cancer treatment will be seen pre-, peri- and post-treatment, with follow up sessions offered as appropriate.

Intervention and treatment may consist of:

  • Detailed assessment of the speech or swallowing difficulty including the person's medical history and any relevant treatment undertaken (i.e. radiotherapy or chemotherapy, surgery etc)
  • Detailed explanation of speech and swallowing following surgery or other treatment for cancer
  • Explanation of options for communication and swallowing following laryngectomy surgery
  • Regular treatment sessions to replace laryngectomy voice prostheses

Individuals may require an assessment only or require a number of treatment sessions. A review system is also in place to ensure people are monitored and offered further treatment if required.

People with laryngectomy are able to contact the service as required to replace a voice prosthesis. If the SLT is unavailable, the H&N cancer nurses are able to provide support.

Service users will remain with the Adult SLT service for as long as required.

back to top