Coronavirus: assistive communication update
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please read our advice and information before sending a referral.
Who can refer to the assistive communication service?
We accept referrals from health, education and social care professionals working with adults and children within our accepted boroughs: Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Greenwich, Bexley, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Havering.
The patient's GP must be registered in the listed boroughs to be eligible for support from our service.
A key community therapist needs to be in place throughout the assessment process. They should be able to provide regular support to the patient and monitor the use of the equipment.
If a patient is not eligible for support from us, this does not mean that they will not benefit from AAC. It means that this particular funding route is not appropriate for them at this time. We can advise referrers on other funding routes or provide support to local services in order for them to meet an individual's needs.
How to make a referral
Please read the referral guidance chart (Word 69Kb) and eligibility criteria (Word 87Kb) prior to your patient referral.
Please complete the relevent referral form :
and post to the address above or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please make sure any patient identifiable information is sent via a secure nhs.net email account.
Please phone to discuss referrals for inpatients on 020 3049 7751.
Specialised AAC service equipment
Quality assurance framework
There may be some instances where it won’t be necessary for us to complete a full assessment for an individual that meets our eligibility criteria, and funding may be sought for euipment provision only by local teams. These instances may include but are not exclusive to:
- referrals for clients who are competent and experienced in the use of a communication aid, but whose existing equipment is malfunctioning frequently or has ceased to work
- referrals from local AAC services and professionals with a significant level of AAC expertise and competency.
When requests are received for funding equipment only, a quality assurance framework has been developed by NHS England. This ensures that a comprehensive assessment has taken place in order to:
- ensure equipment recommendations are made that are appropriate to your needs
- ensure national equity of provision across all services in line with the Quality Standard for AAC services
- support the maintenance and development of local AAC services
- develop cost efficient and timely delivery of NHS funded services
- identify training needs within local AAC services.
A joint Quality Assurance working party, supported by funding from a Department for Education project and in partnership with Communication Matters and 1Voice, has developed an 'equipment only request report', which enables your referrer to make a request and supply the relevant information. This document will be quality assured by our service.
Download the NHS specialised AAC service equipment request report template (Word 23Kb).