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Eating and drinking difficulties

Herefordshire Speech and Language therapy service can offer support for the following types of feeding, eating and swallowing difficulties:

  • Ongoing Difficulties with bottle/breastfeeding
  • Difficulties weaning onto solid foods
  • Restricted diet/ extreme responses to food
  • Swallowing difficulties associated with a range of medical and developmental conditions

We cannot offer support for eating difficulties which are purely behavioural in origin.  However, these can be difficult to distinguish from other types of feeding difficulty and so assessment may be appropriate to establish the nature of the eating difficulty and identify alternative sources of support if necessary.

Making a referral 


Herefordshire Speech and Language Therapy service encourages families experiencing difficulty to approach their Health Visitor or GP for advice in the first instance, as they can often identify a range of common difficulties and offer advice without further assessment.

Your Health Visitor or GP will be able to seek advice form the Speech and Language Therapy service if they need it, or make an onward referral.

For older children, it may be appropriate to discuss concerns in the first instance with their school nurse, GP or other medical professional as appropriate.

If you have sought advice but still feel concerned, then you can request that a referral is made or contact our department to request a referral yourself.


If you have a concern about a child's feeding, eating, drinking or swallowing, then it may be appropriate to make a referral to the Speech and Language Therapy service. 

If you are unsure about whether a referral is appropriate, then you can contact the Speech and Language Therapy service for advice.  The Speech and Language Therapist is happy to offer support over the phone to professionals with feeding queries.

To make a referral, please fill out the referral form on our website as fully as possible and send it to our department.  Please do not directly address the referral to any specific therapist as this will cause a delay in the referral being dealt with.

Herefordshire Speech and Language Therapy service offers training on feeding development and common feeding difficulties twice a year to a range of professionals.

Herefordshire Speech and Language therapy service is happy to discuss your specific training needs if you have particular requirements or a large group of staff requiring training at the same time.

If you wish to express an interest in attending training, please email angharad.welch@wvt.nhs.uk

Referral forms 

Click here to access the referral forms.

Useful links

Parents: common feeding difficulties in typically developing children.

Faddy eaters and children with persistent food restriction


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