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Speech & Language Therapy


What is Speech & Language Therapy (SLT)?

The Speech and Language Therapist assesses, diagnoses and treats any speech, voice, language or communication impairment or any difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing which is presenting secondary to an underlying medical condition. On completion of an in-depth assessment, suitable intervention will be offered. As part of the service, education to family members and carers will also be provided.

The Speech and Language Therapists working in Beacon Hospital are highly qualified with extensive experience working with adults with a wide range of speech, language, swallowing and voice disorders.  We also provide an inpatient and outpatient videofluoroscopy (swallow x-ray) service.

Our Staff

Kerrie Renshaw
Senior Speech & Language Therapist

Kerrie Renshaw graduated from Strathclyde University, Glasgow in 2005 with a first class honours degree in Speech and Language Pathology and merit in clinical practice.  Kerrie has lead the Speech and Language Therapy service in Beacon Hospital since 2010, specializing in assessment and therapy of adult speech, language, voice and swallowing impairments.  Kerrie is a champion for continued development, hosting national training courses for therapists and was awarded a Quality and Innovation Award for 2012.  Kerrie has postgraduate training in adult dysphagia (swallowing disorders), videofluoroscopy (swallow x-rays), vitalstim therapy (electrical stimulation for swallowing), management of communication and swallowing in tracheostomy and laryngeal manual therapy (for muscle tension associated with voice disorders).  Kerrie gained valuable and extensive experience in previous positions of the National Rehabilitation Hospital, with acquired brain injury and in Tallaght Hospital in areas of respiratory, surgery, stroke, neurology, dementia, age-related healthcare and oncology.  Kerrie is a full member of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists.

Kate Grehan
Speech & Language Therapist

Kate Grehan graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2010 with an honours degree. Kate has gained valuable experience internationally in Singapore working in both rehabilitation and acute hospital settings. Since coming back to Ireland Kate has worked in adult community service, Naas general hospital as well as Tallaght Hospital. Kate has experience working with a wide variety of areas such as stroke, neurology, dementia, care of the elderly, oncology, intensive care, cardiology and surgery. Kate has post graduate training in management of communication and swallowing disorders in tracheostomy, videofluoroscopy (swallow x-ray) as well as Lee Silverman Voice Therapy. Kate is a full member of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists and registered with the regulating body for Healthcare professionals CORU.

Ruth Gallagher

Ruth Gallagher is a Senior Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) in Paediatrics at Beacon Hospital.

Ruth graduated with an honours BSc degree in SLT from the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Belfast in 2001. She has worked in The National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght since 2001 with both children & adults covering all core areas of assessment & therapy. Since 2007, Ruth has specialised in Paediatrics, establishing feeding clinics & multidisciplinary diagnostic developmental clinics.

Ruth has extensive additional specialist training  including Hanen; early language intervention, Paediatric voice, Talktools; muscle based therapy, PECS; picture exchange communication systems, Lamh; communication augmentation sign systems, ADOS; Autistic diagnostic observational schedule and extensive Paediatric feeding courses, including videofluoroscopy.

Ruth’s main interests are in early language development & sensory feeding/weaning difficulties.

Elizabeth Holmes BSC. MMedSci MIASLT

Elizabeth Holmes is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist, specialising in Paediatrics.  With a background in Psychology, she qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist from the University of Sheffield over 10 years ago.  Elizabeth has worked in community and hospital settings, gaining experience with children of all ages and ability. 

Elizabeth loves technology and also develops speech therapy software technology, including mobile applications.  Elizabeth has a particular interest in early identification and management of developmental difficulties.  She is qualified to use Hanen, PECS, Lamh, ADOS-2. 

Finally Elizabeth has extensive experience in the area of paediatric feeding difficulties.  She has a particular interest in infants and children who have difficulties weaning, oromotor immaturities and restricted diets.  She is a certified practitioner in the SOS approach to feeding.

Who do we work with?

Here at Beacon Hospital we provide a prompt, high quality assessment and treatment service for adults with a wide range of communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Some of the client groups we work with include:

  • Stroke
  • Dementia (eg. Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Head Injury
  • Voice Disorders

Areas of specialty include:

  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia)
  • Motor speech disorders (dysarthria)
  • Language disorders (aphasia)
  • Voice disorders

Specific assessments/interventions offered include:

  • Videofluroscopy assessment and analysis
  • Formal assessments of language (speaking/understanding/reading/writing)
  • Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation
  • Swallow assessment and management
  • Voice assessment and therapy
  • Speech assessment and therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get referred to Speech & Language Therapy?

To make an appointment, please call us on 01-293 6692. Alternatively email us at speechandlanguagetherapy@beaconhospital.ie

How quickly will I be seen?

You will be contacted within 24 hours of receipt of referral or request to schedule an appointment.

How much will Speech & Language Therapy cost?

Speech and Language Therapy Initial Assessment / Consultation: €170 Speech and Language Therapy Review: €95 Videofluoroscopy procedure and analysis: €350

What will happen in my first assessment?

The Speech and Language Therapist will take an in-depth case history of your presenting speech/ language/voice or swallowing problem. You will then have an assessment and a therapy plan will be made.

How many sessions will I need?

After an SLT assessment, your Speech and Language Therapist will determine how many therapy sessions you will require.

Do I need a medical referral?

A videofluoroscopy requires a medical referral as it is a radiological procedure.  An Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor needs to examine your vocal cords before we can commence voice therapy. For all other swallow, speech and language sessions, no medical referral is required. Click here to download the videofluoroscopy referral form.

What is a Videofluroscopy?

Videofluoroscopy is an x-ray of your swallow. This is carried out in the Radiology department. A Radiologist (doctor) and Speech and Language Therapist will be present for the assessment. You will be given various types of food and drink and your swallow function will then be seen on a moving x-ray. The food and drink will be mixed with a white powder called barium. This is so we can see the food on x-ray. You do not need to fast for this assessment.

Paediatric Speech & Language Therapy in the Beacon Hospital.

The Paediatric Speech & Language Therapy Department provides a (part-time) service to children who may have difficulties with:

  • Speech & / language delay
  • Speech sound difficulties
  • Ongoing hoarse voice
  • Stuttering
  • Regression of language /’ lost words’
  • Limited interest in playing with toys & / peers or plays with toys in an atypical way
  • Difficulties with chewing, weaning or swallowing and / restricted diet excluding a variety of food groups.

Referral Information

To refer for an out-patient appointment, please write a written referral and post/fax to the Allied Therapy department in the Beacon Hospital. Alternatively, please contact 01-293 6692 to make an appointment.

Areas of specialty include:

  • Early language development
  • Phonology
  • Voice
  • Feeding & / swallowing issues
  • Attention and social communication concerns

 Should you wish to discuss a referral or the role of Speech and Language Therapy further, please do not hesitate to contact Ruth Gallagher & Elizabeth Holmes.

Our Staff