Jemma Nelson.png‚ÄčJemma Nelson is Speech and Language Therapist in Carlisle and is here to tell you why you should join the team and become a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist in the Universal/Targeted team.

She has worked at the trust for 9 years and is now a team lead for the recently formed innovative Universal/Targeted speech and language service.

The universal team gives all those around the child the tools they need to help with speech and language. That way the children can get ongoing support to develop better speech, language and communication.

Jemma told us a bit about what it’s like to be part of the Universal and Targeted Team:

“Our universal and targeted level service provision is a relatively new strand to our service and it’s really exciting to be involved in all aspect of its development and delivery. There is the opportunity to look at the big picture and to think and work creatively and innovatively.”

“The Targeted provision is a step-up level, and we provide support to those closest to a child, for example parents, nurseries and schools, Health Visitors, to be more able to support communication for children who are at risk of a Speech, Language and Communication Need.

“It differs from the traditional model of Speech and Language Therapy assessment and treatment in that we are upskilling those around a child to feel more confident and competent to safely self-manage children’s speech, language and communication skills."

We are aiming to support everyone in a child’s environment to understand how they can influence and develop communication skills.

“We are always looking at ways to extend our reach and build partnerships with those around children and young people to improve their communication outcomes. This might be by maintaining our social media presence, but there is always something fresh and exciting to get involved with.”

“We work really closely with our colleagues who provide the specialist level of our service, to make sure we can provide a strong offer to all children and young people. Although our focus is on different strands of the service we are a collaborative team and celebrate success together, and constructively challenge when we think something needs to change.”

“It’s very different from a traditional Speech and Language Therapy role. We don’t hold a caseload of children and young people and offer assessment and therapy in the same way. There are times I miss getting to know individual children/young people and their families, but it’s brilliant to know you are making a difference for children and young people’s communication on a much wider scale!”

“As a Speech and Language Therapist you need flexibility of thought, the ability to problem-solve and look for solutions and to build effective working relationships with a range of people.”

“I love that no two days are the same in my job, and I’m always kept on my toes!”