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Diagnosis and treatment

If you or one of your family are referred to us, we'll assess you so we can make a diagnosis, and provide you with a treatment plan for your swallowing or communication problems. We might need some more information from you or your family to help us to do this.


If you have swallowing problems, it can cause food and drink to go down the breathing tube into your lungs, and result in chest infections. We can assess how well you swallow, and what your level of risk is. As part of our assessment, we may ask you or your child to eat or drink to help us to find the problem.

We have highly specialist therapists in our team who can carry out more detailed investigations of your swallowing, known as instrumental assessment. We offer two types of instrumental assessment:

  • Videofluoroscopy - this is an x-ray taken continuously while you swallow. 
  • FEES (fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing) - a small flexible camera is passed down your nose to look at what's happening when you swallow.

You can find out more about videofluoroscopy and FEES (also known as nasoendoscopy) on NHS Choices. If we think you'd benefit from either of these investigations, we'll speak to you about it and give you more details of what is required.


We know that it can be hard for you or your family to take part in discussions or make care decisions because of communication problems. We can use our communication skills to help advocate and support you or your loved ones, and make their needs and what they want known.