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Leanne Nicholson and Louise Sloan are both highly-specialist Speech and Language Therapists who have progressed through their careers working in well-respected hospitals in London and the North West. They have substantial experience of working with exceptionally complex patients in acute, outpatient and community settings. They specialise in dysphagia (swallow problems) and tracheostomy management.  They are dynamic clinicians who have an excellent record at managing complex swallow conditions and supporting people to restart oral intake after periods of 'nil by mouth'.

They are passionate and caring individuals who strive to provide the most up-to-date and optimal standards of care, in an empathetic manner, to everyone they work with.  Now, they are able to offer a first-class private SLT service all in and beyond the North West with bases in Manchester and Preston.


Leanne and Louise pride themselves in offering expert, individualised assessments and therapy plans, ensuring meaningful and relevant outcomes. They use traditional speech therapy approaches alongside new, innovative ones to provide the best possible care.  They are proud to be at the cutting edge of their profession.

Louise and Leanne met while working  as senior clinicians in a teaching hospital and centre of excellence in Manchester specialising in cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung transplantation, respiratory conditions, burns and plastics and cancer services. They are integral parts of some of the most forward-thinking NHS speech therapy services in the country. In addition, they work together in independent practice to deliver high-quality care to those throughout the region.  They are very experienced clinicians in Videofluoroscopy and both work at 'expert' level in FEES (nasendoscopic assessments of swallowing and voice). They are also fully trained in the use of Phagenyx (pharyngeal electrical stimulation to improve swallowing) and are considered among the leading clinicians in this field. They are also both highly-skilled in working with people with tracheostomies or requiring ventilation. 

Leanne and Louise are fully registered with HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) and their professional body RCSLT (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists).  They both have enhanced DBS clearance and professional indemnity insurance.

They are approved clinicians by leading insurance companies in the UK.

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Louise graduated in 2012 with a first-class degree in Speech Pathology and Therapy and won three prizes recognising her ability. She secured a post at a teaching hospital and centre of excellence in Manchester and completed post-graduate training to a very high standard under nationally-renowned and leading speech therapists. Louise saw complex patients from the outset, creating a solid base of knowledge and experience to build upon.

Louise became a Specialist SLT in 2014 with specialist areas of complex dysphagia (including non-invasive ventilation), complex voice disorders (including psychogenic presentations and transgender), and all SLT aspects of surgical head and neck cancer (including community patients). She completed competencies in videofluoroscopy (VFS) and tracheostomy. In 2016, Louise became a Senior Specialist SLT in highly complex dysphagia and voice. She attained competencies in invasive ventilation, critical care, burns and nasendoscopy for FEES (fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing) and voice clinics. She became a committee member for the North West Voice clinical excellence network and joined clinical excellence networks for FEES/VFS and tracheostomy.  Louise now leads a large and diverse speech therapy team within an NHS Trust.

Louise has presented regionally and nationally – most recently on the positive outcomes of Phagenyx treatment for swallowing rehabilitation. She is involved in collaborative research into innovative management swallowing impairments. Louise provides clinical training and mentorship for junior therapists.

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After completing a Linguistics degree and Masters from Edinburgh University, Leanne gained a Masters degree in Speech and Language Therapy in London, graduating in 2008.  Her first post was in a specialist regional unit providing swallowing and communication rehabilitation after complex brain injury. She then moved to an internationally-recognised hospital to continue in this field as a Specialist SLT and then as a Highly Specialist SLT in 2010. She became competent in videofluoroscopy, commenced endoscopy training and became skilled at working with people with tracheostomies. 

Leanne moved to Manchester in 2011 and began working at a specialist cancer centre. Following this, she was Lead SLT and Stroke Lead before moving to a large teaching hospital with an excellence in management of swallowing problems. Leanne worked largely on critical care units and in the community. She completed her nasendoscopy training and now practises at ‘expert’ level.  She was the lead clinician for Videofluoroscopy in the trust.

She has been a committee member of a clinical excellence network for FEES and Videofluoroscopy and has presented regionally on topics including tracheostomy management and neurological SLT conditions. Over the last few years, Leanne has combined NHS working alongside independent working. 

Leanne now leads SLT teams in a number of hospitals and is professional lead for one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK.

Leanne’s interests lie in swallowing problems as a result of neurological conditions such as stroke, brain injury and progressive neurological conditions. She has worked in some highly-respected rehabilitation units and hospitals treating people with a range of severities from low-awareness states to those aiming to return to work. 

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