School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

North East Speech and Language Therapy Research Co

North East Speech and Language Therapy Research Collaboration

Clinicians and academics are working together to improve speech and language therapy services.

Developing and supporting a research culture

We are the North East Speech and Language Therapy Research Collaboration (NESLTRC). We are a partnership of clinicians in primary care and academics from Newcastle University.

Our purpose is to combine knowledge and practice to improve research in this area. The aims of the group are:

  • to build research capacity in local speech and language therapy services
  • to integrate audit and service evaluation into the research process
  • to develop the strategic use of student placements and projects to support this
  • to identify research questions arising from clinical practice
  • to develop viable projects that inform service delivery

Speech and language therapists as researchers

Speech and language therapists and assistants do research in some way every working day. It may be:

  • using an assessment to test an intervention developed from research
  • reading a paper for the Journal Club to give new insight on our practice
  • collecting data for research each time we visit a client or planning our own research project

Our model of engagement recognises the role each individual plays in our research culture. It shows the support needed to maintain that level of activity.

Who we are

We are everyone working in speech and language therapy services in:

  • Newcastle and North Tyneside Community Services
  • Northumberland Care Trust
  • Newcastle University Speech and Language Sciences

The collaboration started in 2007. It's led by a steering group:

  • Shona Haining, Head of R&D for NHS North of Tyne
  • Alison Proudfoot, Sue Welsh and Jane Giles, SLT Service Managers
  • Anne Whitworth, Helen Stringer, and James Law from Newcastle University
  • Sarah Randles and Christopher Plant, Research Facilitators for the Collaboration


We've been successful in:

  • contributing to recruitment and retention of staff
  • introducing the knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with North Tyneside Council
  • applications to the National Institute for Health Research for funding
  • four service evaluation projects of NHS practice, integrated with student placements

We've also had success with:

  • creating a patient access booklet from student project
  • evaluation of the role of the services in acute stroke
  • long-term conditions evaluation project
  • collaborative planning of research projects
  • collaborative clinical work