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Welcome to Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy

Welcome to Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy

The service has now transferred to HCRG Care Group. Please visit their site for more information on the service:

Preparing for your appointment

The children’s Speech and Language Therapy service operates under a time limited intervention policy in order to provide an equitable service to all children and keep waiting times for assessment and treatment to a minimum.

Due to the high demand for our service, if you accept an appointment and then do not attend without giving us 24 hours’ notice, your child may be discharged.

Please note that missed appointments and/or cancellations for children can be an indicator of neglect. Therefore, if concerns are raised about missed appointments, it may be necessary to liaise with our safeguarding children team and/or children’s social care- in line with our policy on safeguarding children.

Please let us know if someone other than the person with parental responsibility will be attending appointments as, without your permission, your child will not be seen.

Where is the service provided?

Sessions may be conducted face to face or via Microsoft Teams video call.

If your child is offered a face to face appointment this may be in clinic, school, nursery or home depending on clinical need.

If you are having difficulty attending appointments, please contact our administration team on   Tel:  01206 588100

The service is provided at the following venues:

Primary Care Centre
Turner Road
CO4 5JR          Click here for map

Clacton and District Hospital
Tower Road
CO15 1LH           Click here for map

Fryatt Hospital
419 Main Road
CO12 4EX         Click here for map

We also run pre-school drop-in sessions at other locations, in collaboration with Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service. You can find more information further down this page.

Special schools

Children and young people who attend a special school will receive the majority of their treatment in school.

Pre-school drop-in clinics

The drop-in clinics are for parents/carers, and their child to attend if concerned about their child's speech and/or language development. During a 20-minutes slot, the Speech and Language Therapist will briefly assess the child. Parents/carers will have the opportunity to discuss concerns with us. Once assessed, the child will then be placed on the most appropriate care pathway.

This service is only available for pre-school children registered with a North Essex GP.

The drop-in service runs on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so we suggest you should attend as early as possible. If the drop-in session is busy, we will ask you to come back another day. If you arrive less than 15 minutes before the end of the session you will not be seen and will be asked to attend the next drop-in clinic.

We suggest that prior to attending a drop-in clinic, your child has accessed child and family wellbeing services to support your child's skills. Please discuss services available with your child's health visitor, or visit Home - Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service ( for more inforation.

Drop-in sessions are held weekly in two locations. Children can attend either of these drop-in sessions. The details are as follows:

Every Tuesday 9am to 12pm at Berechurch Family Hub, The Ormiston Centre, Colchester, CO2 8NN

Every Thursday, 9am to 12pm at Sydney House Children’s Centre, Maldon Way, Clacton on Sea, CO16 7PA

First Friday of the month, 10am to 1pm at Harwich Library, Kingsway, Harwich, CO12 3JT

If you have any queries, please contact us on  01206 588 100.

Who is appropriate for pre-school drop ins?

The pre-school drop ins are suitable for children with delayed/disordered speech and language skills. If the child meets two or more of the criteria below, they should not attend the pre-school drop ins. They should instead be referred by a professional (e.g. Pre-school, Health Visitor, GP, Paediatrician) via the gateway. A referral form needs to be sent to, and they will be triaged to our complex needs team. Referral forms are available on this page.

Criteria for complex needs referrals

  • Understanding one word level maximum
  • Child is unable to get his/her basic needs known
  • Child does not initiate communication
  • Child on their own agenda
  • Child is using alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) or picture exchange communication system (PECS) and requires a review in order to progress
  • Child aged 3+ is unable to co- operate with formal or informal assessment
  • Child has a degenerative condition
  • Child has a complex health condition that has a strong likelihood of impacting on typical speech and language development.
  • Child has an Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis or suspected ASD and is not managing in pre-school/nursery


If these complex needs children do attend the drop in, there may be limited support we can offer at that time, and they would then go on a waiting list. Please refer in the first instance to avoid delay.


If you have any queries, please contact us on 01206 588 100.

How to access the service

Electronic referral via our Gateway website by professionals such as school staff, GPs, paediatricians, health visitors and HIS nurses.

Click here to view the referral page

Click here to view the referral form

Referral Criteria

  • Speech and Language intervention clinical pathways are in place to accommodate pre-school, primary and secondary aged children.
  • These difficulties should impact on the child’s functional performance at home, at school and/or in extracurricular activities
  • Children and young people aged 0-18, or 19 if in special education
  • Children with a North East Essex GP
  • Children in permanent residence in north east Essex


 In the first instance referrals must be made by a professional, for example:

  • GP
  • Paediatrician or specialist registrar
  • Medical specialists
  • Health visitor
  • Health improvement nurse (formerly school nurse)
  • Community nurse
  • Allied health professionals e.g. Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Dietician
  • Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
  • Social worker


Telephone number: 01206 588100 


Re-referring to the service:

There may be times when a child or young person (CYP) requires further support from the clinical team and a new episode of care needs to be created.  Examples may include:

  • the child is ready to move to the next phase of therapy,
  • there is a new communication need,
  • there is a change in presentation.

It is expected that all those seeking a re-referral have worked though the advice and recommendations offered by the clinical team previously and can demonstrate in their re-referral request, what has been tried and what new difficulties are being faced.


If your child is treated by the core team, please click here to view the re-referral form


If your child is treated by the complex needs team, please click here to view the re-referral form


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