Enhancing Speech Pathology scope with scoping

Ms Nicola Veness1, Ms Mary-Ellen  Tarrant1

1Royal North Shore & Ryde Hospitals, St Leonards, Australia

Fibre-optic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow (FEES) is an advanced scope of practice for speech pathology (SP). The Royal North Shore (RNSH) & Ryde Hospital SP department have adapted the QLD FEES competency to develop appropriate skills to provide speech pathology led FEES service across this department. This department covers two sites across three different service models: acute, rehab & community. This process has been refined since its introduction in 2015, enabling more clinicians to become competent over short periods of time. In conjunction with this, both sites have recently have recently secured funding and donations for Karl Storz C-MAC (RNSH n=2 , Ryde Hospital n=1) which is a more portal FEES equipment and dedicated for speech pathology usage

Results: Skill enhancement: In 2015, one clinician (of 15 FTE) was independently scoping on the wards; whereas is 2019, 8 clinicians (of 18 FTE) are independently scoping after achieving competency. A further 7 clinicians are working towards this competency at various stages.

Clinical Care: Overall the FEES service at Ryde Hospital demonstrated service enhancement and cost savings over the period of  The number of patients who received an instrumental assessment increased from 12 to 29 and the average wait time reduced from 6.6 to 1.2 days. The total annual cost for instrumental swallow assessments for patients based at Ryde Hospital reduced from $15, 595 to $6,347, and the average cost of an individual objective assessment reduced from $770 to $163.   This service enhancement was replicated at RNSH. The results of RNSH no longer using borrowed cumbersome equipment from the ENT specialists was an increase in the number of instrumental assessment being performed on the wards, optimising outcomes for patients with dysphagia.

Conclusion:  This new and dedicated speech pathology equipment has enabled our competency training process to be refined and increased efficiency in the development of this competency and dysphagia management for our patients while providing an enhanced service for our patients at a lower overall cost.


Biography: To be confirmed

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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