Speech Pathology at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9845 2076

Fax: (02) 9845 2078

Location: Outpatients building, level 2

The Speech Pathology Department at The Children's Hospital at Westmead provides assessment and therapy to children with a range of feeding and communication difficulties. Services are provided to patients admitted to the hospital as well as outpatients who meet referral criteria.

Speech Pathologists also work within the Brain Injury Service, the Child Development Unit, the Cleft Lip and Palate Service, and the Craniofacial Service. Please refer to the relevant webpages for more information on these services.

The Speech Pathology Department plays an active role in furthering the development of the profession of speech pathology. The Department offers a clinical education program to students from universities offering a speech pathology degree. The Department also provides clinical supervision for speech pathologists in the community.

Communication Services

The Speech Pathology Department provides outpatient assessment for children with communication difficulties, including language delay, speech sound disorders, and stuttering.

A therapy service is also provided to children aged 0-6 years with identified communication difficulties, who meet referral criteria and live within the local area. Children who do not meet criteria to receive therapy services at the hospital can be supported to find alternative speech pathology services.

Referral requirements and process

Referrals are accepted from paediatricians and specialists.

Referrals should be addressed to:

The Speech Pathology Department

The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Locked Bag 4001

Westmead NSW 2145

Fax: (02) 9845 2078


Voice Clinic

The Voice Clinic provides assessment for children with voice disorders. This includes children with hoarse voices, voices that are too high or low, or too quiet to communicate effectively. The children may also lose their voice often. The aim of the clinic is to determine the reason for the child’s voice difficulties and to form a plan for their management.

At the Voice Clinic the speech pathologist conducts a thorough assessment of the child’s voice. The child may also see the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor if they require an examination. In some cases this may involve a nasendoscopy procedure where a small camera is passed through the nose to look at the child’s voice box.

Some children require further voice therapy. This may be offered at The Voice Clinic or your child may be referred to a speech pathologist closer to home.  

Referral requirements and process

Referrals to the Voice Clinic are accepted from medical doctors, including general practitioners. Referrals are accepted for children ages 3 to 16 years. Assessments can be conducted for children around the state. A limited therapy service is also provided.

Referrals should be addressed to:

The Voice Clinic

Speech Pathology Department

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Locked Bag 4001

Westmead NSW 2145

F (02) 9845 2078

Feeding Services

The Children's Hospital at Westmead has a range of services for children with feeding difficulties. This includes outpatient feeding assessments and reviews with a speech pathologist, as well as specialist feeding clinics involving other health professionals (e.g. paediatrician, dietitian). Instrumental assessments of feeding are also provided, including Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies (VFSS) and Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES). Please see relevant sections below for more information.

Please follow the below link for further information regarding the Feeding Services and Clinics available at the hospital.


Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies (VFSS)

Videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) involve an x-ray of a child's swallow. They are also known as Modified Barium Swallows. VFSS are performed in conjunction with Medical Imaging. This service is offered for patients who need further assessment for risk of aspiration.

A feeding assessment should be conducted prior to booking a VFSS. This can be completed by the child's local speech pathologist or by a speech pathologist at The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) involves assessment of a child's swallow with a endoscopic camera. This is performed in conjunction with the Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons. It assesses the risk of aspiration.

The FEES service is limited. Currently, referrals are only accepted from specialists within the hospital.