Paediatric speech and language therapy (Harrow)


Harrow paediatric speech and language therapy service is one of the largest paediatric therapy teams in North West London, providing services for the community in Harrow. 

The team work with children with speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties from 0 to 18 years of age who have a Harrow GP and/or is a Harrow resident. We work in  two  teams, the pre-school/acute team and the schools team.

Who do we see? 

We see children with difficulties in the following areas: 

  • Mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties
  • Physical disabilities
  • Language difficulties
  • Specific difficulties in producing sounds
  • Hearing impairment
  • Cleft palate
  • Stammering
  • Autism/social interaction difficulties
  • Voice disorders
  • Selective mutism
  • Feeding and drinking difficulties  

Children may also present with:

  • Developmental language disorder
  • Significant speech difficulties which are impacting on curriculum access
  • Language difficulties associated with a sensory or physical impairment. 

*The Better Communication Research Programme 'what works'? - Review interventions for children with speech, language and communication needs. Click here for more information

 Home language: 

Feedback about our service:

What is Developmental Language Development?

 Please read the information sheet to find out more.

Read our latest newsletter: CHATTERBOX SUMMER TERM 2017

Newsletter for parents of school-aged children

"Working together to support Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Harrow"

Giving Voice Speech Therapy Logo
Giving Voice Campaign
Get involved and find out more about the  Giving Voice Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and find out about  what campaigning we've been doing

The team is based in Chaucer Unit, on Level 3 of the main ward block at Northwick Park Hospital, but provide assessments and intervention on paediatric hospital wards both here and at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

We work in partnerships with the children, their parents or carers, other health, education, and social services professionals and voluntary bodies. Intervention is carried out in the following settings:

  •  Alexandra Avenue Health and Social Care Centre

  •  Northwick Park Hospital – Jack’s Place, NNU, and Chaucer Unit

  •  Harrow Schools – Primary and Secondary

  •  Harrow nurseries and children centres

  •  Belmont Health Centre, Caryl Thomas Clinic and the Pinner Centre.

  • If you have any direct queries or comments please contact 020 8869 3010.

The Senior Management Team is made up of:

Maria Luscombe
, Head of Paediatric Therapy Services   

Melanie Abba, Lead Principals Schools Team

Sophie Scott, Lead Principal Preschool/Acute Team

Who can refer you to our service?

The department operates an open referral system so referrals can be made by anyone where parental consent has been given. We accept written referrals stating the child’s needs, their date of birth, address, GP and telephone number. The child must  be a Harrow resident. Where a therapist does not speak the family's first language, an interpreter will be present to help with assessment, support and advice.  Please see our criteria for referrals to our service below:

Pre- school referral critera:
All pre-school childrenwho are registered with a Harrow GP/ or are seen through children’s centre triage where there are identified concerns regarding the development of speech, language or communication skills or eating and drinking problems.

School aged referral critera:
Children and young people from school reception age to school leaving age (18 years or 19 years in special schools) will be accepted for assessment where one or more of the following are present:

1. Speech/language and communication skills (SLC) are a primary area of concern and/or where SLC show a disordered pattern of development.
2. Limited or no means of functional communication,
3. Part of a diagnostic pathway where Autism Spectrum Disorder is being queried.
4. Eating and drinking difficulties where structural/physical/sensory difficulties of organic origin have been identified.
5. Stammer
6. Voice problems
7. Acute onset/deterioration of speech/language/communication skills e.g. head injury etc.

Schools will be required to provide the following evidence to support referrals:

  • A completed questionnaire in order to provide a detailed profile of the child’s speech, language and communication skills
  • Reports from other professionals or checklists (egTeaching Talking/AFASIC); and results from foundation stage assessments/school attainment tests etc, providing information regarding the CYP’s learning and progress across the curriculum
  • A reviewed Support Plan or other documentation detailing previous work carried out on specific aspects of speech/language/communication and the CYP’s response to these
  • Where English is an additional language, a referral checklist detailing the CYP’s skills in the home language(s). For children who have been exposed to English for 3 years or less, schools are asked to complete and return a screening assessment with the referral.
  • Evidence of significant change in CYP’s communication profile or needs for any re-referrals to the service.

 Referrals will not be accepted without the above evidence.

 All referrals must be in writing and specify parental consent.

 Exclusions to referring to our service:

  • CYP who have English as an additional language, where impairment is evident in one language only.

  • CYP with specific learning difficulties/Dyslexia, where there are no difficulties with spoken language.

  • CYP without an education health and care plan attending out of area schools will be offered an assessment only.

 Download our referral forms:

Pre-school referral form

Primary - school communication checklist

Primary referral form

Secondary - school communication checklist

Secondary referral form

Referral forms should be sent to:

London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, Paediatric Therapy Services Chaucer Unit - Level 3 Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, HA3 7UJ 

Please note: We do not accept email referrals due to confidentiality and data protection. Please send referrals to the above address or fax to  020 8235 4127

Further information about our service:

About our primary mainstream service 
About our secondary mainstream service

Preschool Service

language development pyramid

Early Child Development Information:

  • Speaking Out - Early Intervention for young children with communication difficulties (RCSLT)

 Universally Speaking - The ages and stages of children's communication from birth to 5 (The Communication trust).

Speech Sound difficulties:

Some children may have difficulties producing sounds in words making it difficult for others to understand what they are saying. Some speech sound errors are typical in young children. For more information on typical speech sound development click here.  

harrow children's centres


Children's Centres:

The speech and langauge therapy service works closely with Children's Centres.

Do you have worries or concerns about your child's Attention, Listening, Understanding, Play or Talking? Visit our triage sessions for a screening assessment. For further information click here: Triage Sessions 

Children's Centres also offer a range of services and activities, including advice and workshops for you and your family to get involved in. For more information you can view timetables at you local children's centre on Harrow Children's Centre Facebook page or at their website here.  

Preschool service

Further information:

Clik on links below to find out more-

Quick Tips- for parents and practitioners to help children develop good talking and listening skills. Available bilingually in 17 languages.

Stages of Communication Development-  from 0-5 years including attention and listening, social interaction, understanding and use of language and speech sound development.

Chattertots- is a specialist learning environment for pre-school children in Harrow who have a severe and Specific Language Impairment.

Stories and Songs- Bring stories and songs to life using pictures and games.

School-aged children:

*Find out more about Developmental Language Disorder*

Secondary-aged students and students in post 16 education:

Go to image

We've been busy campaigning, take a look at what we've been up to recently!

Past events

September 2017- Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)

What is DLD? Read more to find out about the new terminology. See our parent leaflets for preschoolprimary and secondary aged children. We also have an information pack to tell you more.

October 2016 - Stammering

Stammering is typically recognised by a tense struggle to get words out. This makes it different from the normal non-fluency we all experiene which includes hesitations and repetitions. 

August 2016 - Specific Language Impairment.

Specific Language Impairment affects 2 children in every classroom (aged 5 years). It is more common in boys than girls. See our information for pre-schoolschool aged and secondary children with Specific Language Impairment.

June 2016 - Autism Spectrum Disorder

We are raising awarness of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Please see our information pack for ASD.

March 2016 - AAC/Low Level Communication

AAC uses an individuals abilities to develop their communication skills using low tech aids (communication books)or high tech aids (pressing buttons, voice output). See our AAC pack


SLT paediatric ICP

The international communication project

The International Communication Project 2014 (ICP2014) aims to spread the word about the vital importance of communication to all aspects of our lives and the critical difference that communication professionals can make – especially when they are involved early.