Consultant Children's Speech and Language Therapist
Medico-Legal Expert Witness
BA (Hons), MA (psych), MSc, LSLS Cert. AVT ®, MRCSLT, MASLTIP
I am a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist with 25 years’ experience of working with children and young people. Person-centred care is at the heart of my practice.
I have a longstanding career in the NHS and combine this with my independent practice. I have extensive experience of supporting children with a range of speech, language and communication needs including:
Language Delay/Late talking
Developmental Language Disorder
Speech Sound Delay/Disorder
Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia/Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Social Communication Difficulties
Neurodisability / Complex needs
Attention and Listening Difficulties
Learning Difficulties/Global Delay
Assessment and therapy takes place in children's homes, Early Years Centres, private nurseries, state maintained and independent schools.
I provide training to teaching/educational staff in schools, carry out assessments, prepare reports for SEND Tribunals and act as an expert witness in court.
I am passionate about achieving the best outcomes for children by working in close partnership with their families and educators.
Telehealth/Telepractice sessions may be offered using Skype/Zoom Pro.
I am trained in approaches such as Parent-Child Interaction (PCI), Makaton Signing, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), SCERTS, TEACCH, Colourful Semantics and the Hanen Learning Language and Loving it programme. I have received training on Down Syndrome from Symbol UK. I hold certificates in Level 1 and Level 2 British Sign Language (BSL) and I am an Advanced Clinical Specialist for children with all types of deafness. I am one of a small number of Listening and Spoken Language Specialists / Certified Auditory Verbal Therapists ® practising in the U.K.
I am registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RC0013496) and the Health and Care Professions Council (SL 04131).
Recent publications include (supporting author): Best practice guidance for collaborative working between Qualified Teachers of the Deaf and Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT, 2019)
Free Telephone Consultation
A brief discussion regarding your concerns over the telephone (up to 15 minutes). The main purpose of this consultation is to find out about my services and to discuss whether or not your child needs an assessment and what this involves and costs. I will be able to tell you whether or not my skills match your child's needs.
This is an assessment of your child’s speech, language and communication needs and it is designed to identify whether or not your child needs therapy as well as providing you with a profile of your child's strengths and needs. It involves:
A detailed consultation with you and your child
Taking a case history
Detailed assessment using a combination of formal and informal assessments
A review of a video of your child playing/interacting at home (where appropriate)
Verbal feedback on the assessment findings
Please enquire directly for fees.
(includes a detailed written report & *recommendations)
*Specific therapy activities / treatment plan is not included in an assessment report. Please see 'Therapy' section as this is a separate service
Assessment and report for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Needs Assessment:
Please enquire directly for fees.
Assessment for a parental appeal for a SEND Tribunal
Please enquire directly for fees.
Therapy sessions will be tailored to meet your child’s individual speech, language and communication needs. Each session will use a parent/adult 'coaching approach' to help you improve your child’s communication skills and build on your existing skills. For young children, the sessions will be play-based and will incorporate your child’s interests. Sessions are designed to be dynamic, enjoyable and fun. After the session, “Take Home Messages” or short-term targets will be agreed with you so that you know how to support your child at home/school between therapy sessions. Ways of incorporating therapy targets into everyday life and home/school routines will be discussed at the end of each session.
Duration: (45-60 minutes)
Fee: Please inquire directly regarding the fees
N.B. Sessions outside of these areas will incur an extra charge (calculated on time taken rather than distance)
The session fee includes written short term targets, planning, preparation, note writing, resource making, and travel time and costs.
A visit to your child’s nursery/school provides an excellent opportunity to observe your child’s communication skills in his/her formal learning environment.
A nursery visit involves the following:
Liaison with your child’s key person, teaching assistant or teacher,
Observation in class
Making recommendations which are shared between home and school.
Nursery/School visits are arranged with parental/school/nursery agreement and consent.
This is a one-off appointment following a block of therapy sessions to review your child’s progress. A summary report is included. This service is for children who have already received a block of therapy sessions.
Duration: 30 minutes face to face contact + short report provided
Please inquire directly regarding the fees
Annual Review/ Multi-Disciplinary Meetings
This is attendance at a meeting in order to share information regarding your child’s communication needs. If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), his/her plan will be reviewed every six months until they are five and annually thereafter.
Bespoke talks, workshops and training sessions for a group of parents and/or professionals (teachers, teaching assistants, SENDCOs) can be arranged.
Supporting speech, language and communication in the early years
Creating a 'Communication Friendly' school environment
Supporting children with communication difficulties for teaching assistants
Creating a Visual Classroom
Fee: Please inquire directly regarding the fees
Additional charges will be made the preparation of handouts/resources. The fee will depend upon the number of participants and the specific requirements you have.
Assessment of a child's speech, language and communication needs and preparation of a medico-legal "Tribunal Ready" report which is used for an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
Legal Aid commissioning:
Fee: From £79.20 per hour (Legal Aid Agency rate) for assessment/report writing
Fee: From £400 per court appearance as an expert witness (Legal aid rate)
Private Solicitors/Private clients:
Please enquire directly for further information regarding fees.
Why take my child to see a Speech and Language Therapist?
Speech and Language Therapists all have either a first degree or post-graduate degree in speech and language therapy. They are experts in all aspects of communication development. They are qualified to assess and treat children with all types of communication difficulties and they can offer you specialist advice on how to help your child's communication skills.
Why choose an Independent Therapist?
There is no difference in the training or qualifications of an independent therapist and a therapist working for the NHS. An independent therapist may be able to see your child sooner than an NHS therapist and may have more flexibility about what they can offer your child. They can also see your child at home or nursery/school.
How do I know if my Speech and Language Therapist is qualified?
All practising Speech and Language Therapists in the United Kingdom must be registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Registered members of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) adhere to strict ethical and professional standards outlined by the RCSLT. A list of registered members is available on their website: www.rcslt.org/about/membership/members.
It is a legal requirement in the U.K. that all Speech and Language Therapists are also registered with the Healthcare Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC provides an online register of Speech and Language Therapists which www.hpc-uk.org.
The Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) requires all speech and language therapists listed on their database to be registered with the HCPC and a member of the RCSLT:
You are advised to check a Speech and Language Therapist’s U.K registration details if you are considering employing them to help your child.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No, you can refer your child to yourself. Email email@example.com or ring for a free initial telephone consultation: Caroline Murphy Tel: 07718 301791
Where does the therapy take place?
Assessment and therapy sessions take place in your home or at your child’s nursery or school. Telehealth (virtual) appointments can also be offered using a platform such as Zoom Pro.
How many sessions will my child need and how long will they last?
This will depend on your child's individual needs, the nature of their communication difficulties and response to therapy. A therapy package will be agreed with you before the sessions start. For example, the number and length of sessions. A typical therapy block lasts 6 sessions and each session lasts between 45 to 60 minutes. Most of this time will be spent working directly with you and your child but will include time to discuss your child’s progress, new strategies to use or activities to work on.
How much do the sessions cost?
Please see the services section.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions set out the expectations for the Client and the Therapist (Caroline Murphy) to ensure that both parties are protected in the event that a disagreement occurs. Please read the terms and conditions and contact Caroline Murphy if you have any questions.
A) Initial Assessment
1. You will receive an email or letter confirming the details of your child’s initial appointment including the date, time, location and fee.
2. At the end of the first appointment, Caroline Murphy will explain whether your child requires further speech and language therapy support. This may be discharge, further assessment, onward referral or a block of therapy.
3. Caroline Murphy will let you know whether she has the appropriate clinical skills and experience to meet your child’s needs.
4. Caroline Murphy will signpost you to other professionals / services / organisations if necessary.
B) Further Appointments/Therapy
1. Your child must have attended an assessment appointment with Caroline Murphy before starting therapy. You are welcome to share reports from other professionals with the Therapist.
2. Therapy sessions can be arranged in your home and/or your child’s educational setting.
3. Therapy appointments will be agreed and booked in advance. The Client and Therapist will agree the number of sessions at the point of booking.
4. The Client and Therapist will review the need for further sessions at the end of each block of sessions.
5. Therapy sessions lasts a minimum of 45 minutes (up to 60 minutes) unless agreed otherwise. This time may include direct work with your child, observation, discussion and liaison with your child's communication partners, modelling of strategies and writing up of notes.
6. No fee will be charged for time spent planning outside of the therapy sessions.
1. The fee for your child's initial speech and language assessment will be invoiced prior to the initial assessment. The invoice must be paid in full in advance by the date on the invoice. Unpaid invoices will lead to cancellation of appointments.
2. Fees for all therapy sessions must be paid online in advance.
3. Additional reports, meetings or visits will be invoiced once completed. Caroline Murphy will seek your agreement prior to undertaking any additional work that will incur further fees or charges.
4. Please refer to the “Services and Fees” section on carolinemurphyslt.co.uk for further information.
D) Fee Changes
1. Fees are subject to annual increases from 1st September each year.
2. Existing clients will be given 4 weeks notice of any changes in fees
3. Fee increases will not apply to therapy blocks which have already started or sessions which have already been booked or invoiced.
E) Payment terms:
1. Invoices for an initial assessment must be paid by the date on the invoice.
2. The preferred method of payment is via bank transfer to the following account:
Account name: C A M Murphy
Sort code: 53 70 44
Account number: 11522526
2. Cash or cheque payments are accepted for initial assessments and payment by cash or cheque must be given on the day of the initial assessment.
1. The following process will apply in the event of non-payment:
Caroline Murphy will contact you in writing to remind you that payment is overdue.
If an invoice is not paid within the date stated on the invoice, you will receive written notice that the planned appointments will be suspended until payment is made in full.
If payment is not received in full within 7 days of planned sessions being suspended, Caroline Murphy reserves the right to discharge your child and end the referral.
At no point will clients be allowed to take their payments into arrears.
G) Health Insurance:
1. If you are claiming fees through a private health insurance company, you will need to pay the fees in full in accordance with the payment terms above and then claim this back through your insurance.
2. It is recommended that you check with your insurance company prior to booking appointments to ensure that you are covered under the terms and conditions for your health insurance company.
This is included within your fees unless where indicated.
1. If Caroline Murphy needs to cancel an appointment, she will let you know as soon as possible and reschedule the appointment.
2. There may be certain situations (such as illness or family circumstances) which mean that you need to cancel an appointment at short notice.
3. If you do need to cancel an appointment please contact Caroline Murphy by email or telephone as soon as possible.
4. The session will be refunded in full if you contact Caroline Murphy before 07.15 on the day of the appointment.
5. If you cancel the appointment after 07.15 on the day of the appointment, a cancellation fee of £35 will be incurred.
1. The full session fee will apply in the event of non-attendance. Non-attendance includes:
- If you are not in when Caroline Murphy attends an appointment at your home.
- If your child is not at school or pre-school/nursery when Caroline Murphy attends a pre-arranged visit.
2. It is your responsibility to inform Caroline Murphy if your child is not going to be at school or preschool for an appointment.
K) Reports and Programmes:
1. Reports and programmes will be supplied to you on request.
2. Unless expressly included in the session fee or otherwise agreed, an additional fee calculated by reference to hourly rates will be charged for writing reports and/or programmes.
3. Reports and/or programmes can be shared with other professionals.
4. Reports and/or programmes will be sent to you via post or by email.
1. Unless otherwise agreed, the cost of any resources used provided to you are included in the session fees.
2. An electronic copy of resources for school or pre-school can also be provided at no extra charge.
3. Further copies can be provided at additional cost (price given on enquiry)
4. If you would like resources to be laminated this can be provided at a charge of 50p per laminate.
5. Laminating fees will be charged at the end of each therapy block.
M) Data Protection:
1. All client details, case notes and correspondence will be stored securely and treated confidentially according to General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 1988. Caroline Murphy stores client data on the GDRP compliant Writeupp patient management software system.
The Therapist is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
2. Reports and programmes are password protected.
3. Any paper based confidential information is stored securely in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 1988.
4. All client records will be kept securely until a child is 25 years old. After this time all records relating to the child will destroyed.
1. Caroline Murphy has an enhanced DBS certificate. Clients may see the Therapist’s DBS certificate at any time.
2. In the event of a safeguarding concern, where your child or another person is at risk of harm, Caroline Murphy has a legal obligation to share concerns and information with relevant professionals in line with the Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) statutory guidance. The Therapist will communicate concerns to the Client except where it is felt that this may increase the risk to the child or the Therapist.
3. Caroline. Murphy has a Level 3 Safeguarding Children certificate. This was renewed in December 2019.
O) Liaison with other professionals:
1. For the best outcomes for your child, Caroline Murphy may liaise with other professionals involved in your child’s care. Consent will be gained for this.
2. This includes professionals such as NHS Speech and Language Therapists, teaching and support staff in schools, Early Years practitioners, SENCOs, your GP or other medical/educational staff.
3. Written consent regarding the sharing of information about a child will be gained from the Client at the initial assessment.
4. At initial assessment, the Client will be required to read and sign a consent form. The Client reserves the right to request that the Therapist does not share information. The exception to this is where there are safeguarding concerns. Please see section N above.
1. For home visits at addresses where there is controlled parking only, the Client is required to provide Caroline Murphy with a paper/electronic visitor’s permit for the entire duration of the session. Online booking for parking is acceptable provided that it covers the entire and not just part of the planned session.
2. Caroline Murphy has the right to terminate the appointment if the Client cannot provide a visitor's parking permit where this has been pre-arranged and there is no available parking due to controlled parking restrictions.
Q) Use of Video:
1. Some assessments and therapy techniques involve the use of video to record your child playing with you.
2. The videos are temporarily stored on an encrypted, password protected tablet. Once the video has been used as needed in therapy, it will be deleted. No copies will be retained. Any digital recordings made on videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom Pro will be deleted immediately following use.
3. Where possible, the Client's own electronic device will be used to video record sessions. The client may choose to upload, store and share videos with the Therapist on a platform such as Google Docs or WhatsApp (end-to-end encryption).
4. Unless agreed by the Therapist, the Client may not video/audio record the Therapist at any time. Screenshots may also not be made during telehealth/virtual appointments.
R) Electronic communication:
1. Email is not a secure method of communication. With your written consent, email will be used for correspondence and sending letters, reports and other documents.
2. Documents will be sent as attachments and will be password protected and saved in Printed Document Format (PDF).
3. Correspondence via email to other professionals will be copied to you as necessary.
4. Your Therapist will refer to your child in emails by their initials only unless a child's parents/caregivers have given their verbal/written consent to use the child's first name.
1. In the event that you are not satisfied with the service you have received, please contact Caroline Murphy in the first instance. Most issues can be resolved through discussion.
2. If it is not possible to resolve matters, and you wish to complain formally, please contact the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice at www.helpwithtalking.com
T) Termination of Therapy:
1. The Client may terminate therapy at any time. If a block of therapy has already been arranged and paid for, no refund will be given for the remaining sessions if the client decides to terminate therapy before a block has ended.
2. Caroline Murphy reserves the right to terminate her services at any time. Any therapy sessions already paid for by the client which have not been delivered will be refunded in full.
Caroline Murphy (2021)
Independent Consultant Speech and Language Therapist