Taking the Independent route
It was good to read the Alex Kelly feature in the recent Bulletin (March 2017). Against a backdrop of almost continuous change in terms of provider landscape, for a variety of reasons, increasing numbers are heading down the independent route. Alex’s transition is probably fairly typical, as therapists put a toe in the water before taking the plunge. Whichever way it happens, there are more of us out there than ever. We all have the best interests of service users at the forefront. Th e diversity of models is a positive thing – not only for clients who have greater choice, but also for the NHS, in that there is scope for using resources more eﬀ ectively across the patch. Independent practices could be a source of support and expertise for services considering introducing or developing a ‘traded’ arm. So, thank you to Bulletin for introducing ‘commerce’ into what has traditionally been a clinical and policy-oriented publication. It would be good to see College take a lead in opening a dialogue in terms of the independent and NHS interface. Th ere will be examples of best practice from which we could all beneﬁ t. Maybe now the time is right – and, perhaps not entirely coincidentally, February’s ‘My Working Life’ also had an independent focus. I loved Alex’s ‘checklist’ – sound advice and a great way to open what could be a very interesting and stimulating debate.
Diana McQueen, Co-director of Soundswell Speech and Language Th erapy Solutions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Diana. We have been keenly following the evolving landscape over the past few years, with many of our members now working in varied contexts. We’re pleased to say that independent practitioners are an integral part of our work here at the RCSLT and are represented on all of our committees and working groups, feeding into key projects such as the children’s services strategy, digital transformation strategy, curriculum guidance and NQP framework. To ﬁ nd out more, visit www.rcslt.org/about/projects
Published in: Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Bulletin April 2017