Vanessa Venables

I am a speech & language therapist with fifteen years' experience of working with adults with communication and swallowing difficulties following stroke, head injury, brain surgery and a range of neurological disorders.

In 1989, I graduated from City University, London, with a BSc Hons in Clinical Communication Studies. Since then I have worked in a variety of hospitals and community settings in Sussex.
Vanessa Venables

I am a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy and the Health Professional Council.

I have a special interest in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's Disease and am a certified Lee Silverman Vocal Tract Therapist, (LSVT). LSVT is a form of speech therapy which concentrates on "loud voice" only. For further information on evidence for the effectiveness of LSVT please see and

I also have a special interest in working with people who have facial weakness as a result of surgery, for example, following the removal of an Acoustic Neuroma or salivary gland tumour. Other causes of facial weakness can be inflammation of the facial nerve following infection, (Bell's Palsy) or from trauma involving the facial nerve. The main focus on therapy is to improve facial symmetry, speech and swallowing but also to advise on how to improve symmetry with make up, hair and clothing.

I have worked for 12 years at Hurstwood Park, a specialist neurological unit in Haywards Heath. During this time I have been involved in the assessment and management of approximately 100 people with Motor Neurone Disease. The emphasis is on control of symptoms and learning strategies to help maintain effective communication. It is also important to ensure people are given adequate information to make informed choices about eating and drinking as opposed to non-oral feeding alternatives. For further information on these issues please see

For some medical conditions there is no "cure" for either their communication or swallowing difficulties. Nevertheless speech and language therapy can help to improve associated communication and/or swallowing with a view to improving the person's quality of life, independence and relationships.

You can email me directly at