Parents - how do I get my child referred?

Finding your local speech and language therapy services

If you are worried about your child’s fluency you should contact your local speech and language therapy service as soon as possible to arrange an appointment for an assessment.
 
Most local NHS Services or Health Boards will have a speech and language therapy service. It should be possible to contact the manager and request information about their local team. Some Trusts have a 'direct access' policy which means you can refer your child directly to the local speech and language therapist. You could also call in at your local health centre to get the information you need about contacting your local speech and language therapist.
 
Your child's school may be able to help too. Some schools have speech and language therapists who visit on a regular basis, or the head teacher may have a contact telephone number.
 
Some Trusts have speech and language therapists who specialise in working with children who stammer and you may be referred to that person.

GP or Health Visitor

GPs and Health Visitors will also have the information you need to find out about local speech and language therapy services.

Help from the Michael Palin Centre

There are a number of ways that you can seek help for your child from the Michael Palin Centre:

Referral by speech and language therapist

If you have a local speech and language therapist, you can ask for a referral to The Michael Palin Centre, which is a specialist or 'tertiary' centre . Children are referred to us from all over the UK for a charitably-funded consultation service, which offers a specialist assessment, advice and treatment recommendations for each family. Your local speech and language therapist will be invited to attend the appointment too.  Charitably funded by Action for Stammering Children.

Referral by GP

You can ask your GP to write a letter of referral for a free specialist assessment.

Referral by parent

If you do not have a local speech and language therapist or there is no local service for children who stammer of your child’s age, you can contact the Michael Palin Centre directly via the helpline 0203 316 8100 (click here to watch a short video clip about the helpline), by email (mpc.admin@nhs.net) or by completing the online referral form. If you are making the referral yourself, we will also ask you to send a letter from your GP. If there is a problem with this, please do not hesitate to let us know. Please click here to watch a short video clip about referring your child to the Centre.  Any child from the UK can attend the Michael Palin Centre for an assessment funded by Action for Stammering Children.

Private referrals

Please see more information on private referrals.

What happens next?

As soon as we receive the referral, your child's name is put on a waiting list and you will receive information about the assessment. You can always telephone to check the waiting time for an appointment. The appointment letter will usually be sent out 6 weeks in advance to try to give sufficient time for you to organise your visit. We are sometimes able to offer cancellation appointments to those who are able to come at short notice.
 
At the consultation, we will assess your child and discuss with you what we feel is the most appropriate plan and whether therapy is recommended. If this therapy is available to you locally, we will support your therapist in carrying it out. If the therapy is not available locally, we will offer it to you at the Michael Palin Centre. We will apply to your local NHS trust to fund the therapy or parents may self fund. If no funding is available, we are sometimes able to secure charitable support for therapy. To watch a short video clip about assessments at the Centre, please click here.
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