I graduated from Cardiff with a BSc. (Hons) in Speech & Language Therapy in 1992 and have since undertaken post-graduate training to ensure my continuing professional development. This includes:
After graduating I worked for Milton Keynes Community NHS Trust as a Speech & Language Therapist in the paediatric team, working with pre-school and school-age children in clinics, nurseries and schools. I also worked in two schools for children with special educational needs.
In 1996 I took up a 'Special Needs Specialist' post for Rugby NHS Trust providing the service for Brooke Special School and working within the multi-disciplinary team in Rugby Child Development Centre (CDC). The CDC team provided assessment for all pre-school children who were referred due to developmental delay, including autism, and we monitored and supported the development of children with diagnosed conditions such as Down's Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy. At Brooke School, working collaboratively with the staff, I was able to review and change the nature of service provision and implement initiatives focusing on total communication and staff training.
When I left the NHS, to raise my own children, I began work on a training package for Speech & Language Therapists to use in special schools. My enthusiasm and positive experience of collaborative working in the special school environment led, over the next 9 years, to the development of a training package called 'Assessing and Promoting Effective Communication (APEC)'. APEC2, published in 2004, is still in use across the UK. I began to deliver training days for Speech & Language Therapists, delivered the APEC course to teaching staff in two schools in Bedfordshire, and provided an independent review of the Speech & Language Therapy service provision in two special schools on behalf of Warwickshire NHS and the Local Authority. I was able to share what I had learnt, from working in the school environment, in articles for several professional publications.
In 2010 I returned to clinical practice in Rugby (now South Warwickshire Foundation Trust) providing speech and language therapy for pre-school and school age children, through a series of bank and fixed term contracts, working flexibly whilst continuing to enjoy raising my own children.
My new venture into independent clinical practice began in January 2019 with a fond farewell to the Speech & Language Therapy team at The Orchard Centre.
"Today I received my son's spring progress report. After three months of working with Gillian Bolton, he is finally up to his level (30-50 months). As a parent, I am over the moon. Three months ago he could only say couple of 3 words sentences and really struggled with expressing his feelings. He wasn't concentrating a lot as well and was playing with cars all the time. But after working with Gillian, he has changed so much, even the school teacher says that he is far more happier and confident than he used to be with everyone. As for my self, I have learned so much about how I need to work with him and that helped massively. Thank you so much Gillian for all the advice and hard work! This is the best decision I have ever made. And now he's nonstop talking.!!!!!! Thank you" - Mrs H.M., mother of 4-year-old from Rugby
"Gillian has been working with a child with speech and language needs in our Nursery for two terms now. She has provided fantastic support for this child, both in his home and at Nursery. The child has subsequently made accelerated progress and we have really seen an improvement in his communication! At a time where budgets and staffing are tight, Gillian's visits and targets have been invaluable. I'd like to thank Gillian, not only for working with the child, but for also guiding us as staff with strategies and approaches we can use in our setting." - Amy, Nursery Class Teacher, Rugby
"A very effective, committed and highly valued member of staff" - NHS SLT manager
"Thank you for your hard work over the last two terms, it has been much appreciated and has really helped us get collaborative working up and running in Bedfordshire." - SLT Manager
"I've really appreciated all the support you’ve given myself and Mrs C. regarding the speech and language needs in nursery...and thank you for being so understanding of the constraints we’ve been working with…and offering suggestions for how we can incorporate the children’s targets into their daily play." - Nursery teacher
"I'll be sorry to see you go, we've spoken a lot on the phone about clients and you’ve always been very helpful and knowledgeable, patient and understanding. I hope you do very well with your independent practice." - Sarah, Health Visitor
"Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your job whilst you've been working in Rugby. No one could ask for a more committed therapist and you always strived to do the most you could to support your children and their families." - SLT Clinical Team Lead, SWFT
"APEC is an outstandingly effective course to develop awareness, understanding and skills in early communication. It is very appropriate for SLTs, teachers and support assistants working with developmentally young children." - Teacher
"The course has really made me take a look not only at the children but also at myself. It has made me change my approach in certain areas (using more simple language, letting the children take the lead more)." - Learning support assistant
Copyright © 2019 Gillian Bolton