Stewart Young and Nadia Krueger-Young presented at a conference event for speech and language therapists working in critical care.

The conference was held at St George’s Hospital, Tooting on 16 March 2019 and organised by Jackie McRae, a consultant speech and language therapist (SLT). Jackie is the professional lead for SLT services at St George’s.

This is the first year the event has taken place and it was aimed at advanced SLTs working at NHS trusts across the country.

There were presentations throughout the day, as well as informal conversations and networking.

The day began with a medical talk from Dr Rakif Bedair, Clinical Director for Adult Critical Care at St George’s.

Stewart Young and Nadia Krueger-Young gave a 45-minute presentation regarding legal issues that arise in clinical settings and how healthcare professionals can avoid litigation. They discussed several real-life case studies and shared their experiences of why patients take legal action.

The talk generated numerous questions and debate. Several of the SLTs commented that the talk gave them a better understanding of how cases work and the claimant’s perspective. It also dispelled some of the fears and myths around litigation.

James Godber, SLT and Mental Capacity Lead at St George’s, gave an interesting presentation on mental capacity. One of his messages was that patient assessments of capacity are often finely balanced, and open to different points of view and interpretation. The key thing for clinicians is to properly document their assessments to demonstrate how a decision has been reached about a patient’s capacity. For SLTs in critical care, this often involves ensuring alternative means of communication have been explored to enable the patient to be as independent as possible in making their decisions.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to develop relationships with rehabilitation providers and the feedback from attendees was highly positive.

Jackie McRae commented:

“Thank you so much for coming to talk at our study day this weekend. Your talk was very interesting and of great value, highlighting the importance of many of our governance requirements.”



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