All referrals to the Electronic Assistive Technology Service (EATS) are considered at regular team meetings to confirm eligibility, complexity and urgency of need.
If the person referred meets the eligibility criteria, an initial assessment visit is arranged in the environment which bests meets the person’s needs such as school, home, day centre, care home etc. Any need for environmental controls is considered at the same time as communication needs.
The referring professional is included in the assessment process. Working jointly is important to the team. Where possible, all assessment meetings with the service user will be jointly with the referrer and the hub assessors. When it is not possible to schedule this, the referring professional will be kept fully informed of progress.
Following the acceptance of a referral, the service user remains a patient on the caseload of the referring professional and is guided and supported working jointly with the EATS hub team.
The assessment process may involve the trial of several devices. The hub service provides training in the use of equipment it provides.
When the most appropriate device is identified, it is left with the service user.
Equipment is provided as a long term loan and remains the property of the Electronic Assistive Technology Service who are responsible for its maintenance.
Circumstances change and there can be problems with the equipment after it has been provided. Depending on the issue the appropriate response can come from the hub or the referring professional.
If you are using a communication aid from the hub, the general rule is that if you have a question or problem about the equipment, contact the specialist hub; if you have an issue about your general communication needs, get in touch with your local speech therapist. Either way don’t be afraid to ask!