The Communication Trust Mini Triumph

Supporting the workforce to develop and use evidence

1) What did you change in your approach?

In March 2017, as part of a programme of work to support the sector to develop and use evidence, The Communication Trust (TCT) hosted an afternoon of CPD workshops specifically for speech and language therapists (SLTs). Unlike a conference, we really wanted the event to feel interactive and impactful, with ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and share experiences with renowned experts. This was the first time that we'd hosted an event with this aim so were excited to see the impact that it could have on attendees.

On the day itself, 50 enthusiastic SLTs attended from across the country, all having signed up to workshops set to be delivered by experts in the field (LuCiD, Dr Helen Stringer and Prof. James Law) on critical appraisal, using evidence when decision making and planning a research question. The workshops delivered were all interactive and evoked rich discussion around the personal experiences of SLTs and the practicalities of developing and applying evidence in practice.

The day was tied up by Prof. Courtenay Norbury who spoke on the importance of the SLT role, using evidence in practice and the need for SLTs to work with academics to collect data and develop evidence; a real empowering end to the day.

2) What impact has this had?

The afternoon received much positive feedback. 98% of respondents said that they found the afternoon ‘useful’ or ‘really useful’ and 100% of respondents said that it raised their awareness of developing and using evidence. The Trust team were delighted with the workshops delivered, speakers and engagement from attendees. The success of the event has led the team to assess how to extend and deliver an event such as this to a wider section of the workforce, the education workforce in particular. So this year, TCT will be doing just that; three afternoon seminars to equip the education workforce to develop and use evidence will be delivered later in the year, striving to replicate the impact of the event in March. Watch this space for more information!