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Speech & Language Therapists

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Frances Ridway

Frances represents London and the South East on the SLT OPC. She works at the Nuffield Hearing and Speech Centre in the Developmental Speech Disorders team.

She has been a Unite rep for about twelve years inspired by other remarkable SLT reps and activists. She finds the OPC a fantastic way of meeting other therapists from across the country to discuss issues and work together to defend the services to our patients as well as our terms and conditions in these challenging times.

Frances likes cooking, eating, drinking and socializing! Email Frances at frances.ridgway@unitetheunion.org to organise an SLT OPC Unite London get together! 


Elizabeth Roche 

"My name is Elizabeth Roche, I have been a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for over 20 years and during that time have seen a lot of changes to services and increasingly more threats to the NHS as we know it. I became a union representative during the AfC years and have continued to be an active member since that time. I have previously taken the role of vice chair of the joint negotiating committee and continue to sit on the RISC and OPC representing Speech and Language Therapy in the West Midlands. I feel strongly that we should fight to keep the NHS public and ensure continued professional leadership in all therapies."


Ester O'Hara

Esther represents Scotland on the SLT OPC, and is currently the Chair. She works at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and is the clinical specialist for Head and Neck Cancer for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

She has been a Unite rep for more years than she can remember (going back to the Amicus and even MSF days!!) and originally ended up on the SLT OPC by default (no other SLTs at the regional conference to take the seat!). That said, and once she recovered from the shock of unexpectedly ending up in a regional role, she has found that she very much enjoys serving on the OPC; although representing a geographically large region, and liaising with SLT reps in each of 11 different health boards from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders is (she tells us) challenging to say the least!
Esther is a Cancerian (strange that, given her caseload!!), has 2 young sons, a NHS employed husband, and a mad collie. She sings as a hobby, but does not take requests in the bar after conference. Unless bribed heavily with brandy.

Orlagh Stewart

“I work in an busy acute hospital with a varied adult caseload. Most trusts are represented at our regular regional workplace reps meetings held in the Unite Office, Antrim Road, Belfast. Current issues for SLTs in Northern Ireland include restructuring both within Sure Start and  core services, lack of posts and career development, AFC, band 5-6 transition, increasing therapist workload/stress and pay car parking in some hospitals.”