National recognition for South Tipperary's speech and language therapy services

National recognition for South Tipperary's speech and language therapy services

Dr. Catherine Gallagher (UCC/CUH, also commended), Fiona Hegarty (South Tipp S & L Services), Declan Black (Mason, Hayes & Curran, sponsors), and Caitriona Heraghty (South Tipp S&L Services).

The HSE’s Community Speech and Language Therapy services in South Tipperary has been “highly commended” in a national awards scheme.

The National 'Plain English' Awards are run by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), with the aim of rewarding organisations that communicate clearly.

Over 50 organisations entered the 2016 competition by submitting documents they thought were outstanding examples of Plain English which were then judged by an independent panel of experts. 

Judges awarded the commendation to the HSE’s Community Speech and Language Therapy services in South Tipperary in the Health Patient Information Leaflets category for its speech and language therapy assessment information leaflet for parents/carers.

Welcoming the commendation, the HSE’s South Tipperary Speech and Language Therapy Services manager Mary Lynch said:

“The South Tipperary Speech and Language Therapy team are very committed to ongoing review of our written communication protocols with our service users, including ensuring that they are compliant with Plain English standards. We are conscious that NALA is an Irish charity committed to making sure people with literacy difficulties can fully take part in society. Clear communication benefits everyone. 

“Plain English is a style of presenting information that helps you understand it the first time you read or see it. It involves short clear sentences and using everyday words and imagery.

"Our team in South Tipperary are delighted to receive this award as an acknowledgement of the effort and commitment of our Speech and Language Therapy Services to ensuring the service user is at the centre of all we do," she continued. 

Colleagues Fiona Hegarty, senior speech and language therapist, and Catriona Heraghty, speech and language therapist, both of whom have provided strong leadership on compliance with Plain English, standards accepted the award at the ceremony in Dublin recently on behalf of the South Tipperary team – their combined message upon receipt being:

“The leaflet that attracted interest in this awards scheme was one we developed to explain what happens at initial assessment by the speech and language therapist. We concentrated on short sentences in response to such questions as: What does a speech and language therapist do? What will happen on the day? How long will this take? What happens next? The answers on the leaflet was an opportunity to explain that we work with people’s speech, language and communication needs – as well as any eating and drinking difficulties. We show parents/carers how to help their child. We develop treatment programmes to meet children’s needs. We aim to maximise every child’s communication potential.”